Thank you all for another year full of wonder, awe, heartbreak, joy, mourning and laughter TOGETHER. In this episode we celebrate the longest night of the year with the Missing Witches Coven. We'll share songs and stories, poems and blessings, and we invite you to make yourself a cup of tea, imagine yourself sitting by a cozy cracking fire, and be with us for Winter Solstice. Blessed fucking be.
Listen now - transcript below
And if you need more, here's last year's Yule Special
Missing Witches Yule Carol
written by Amy T. - performed by the Missing Witches Choir
Lyrics - Please sing along!!
O Yuletide, O Solstice
O longest night of the year
We gather together
to share our hope and our fear
Cuz we are witches
in the night
We are witches
we bring our own light to the
Solstice at Yuletide
On the longest night of the year Please bring us together
to share our warmth and our cheer
Cuz we are witches
of the night
We are witches
we make our own light
On the Solstice, at Yuletide
On the longest night of the year Please bring us together
to share our warmth and our cheer
Cuz we are witches
of the night
We are witches
we make our own light
We are witches
We are witches
Solstice, at Yuletide
On the longest night of the year Please bring us together
to share our warmth and our cheer
Cuz we are witches of the night
We are witches
we bring our own light
Some Coven members sent text of their offerings to be included on this page!
Julie offers 'A Solstice Blessing for Our Coven'
May we spend time together in loving ways. May we embrace both joy and sadness as we gather throughout the year. May we celebrate when we have things to celebrate. May we hold each other when we break apart. May we encourage each other as we birth new ideas into the world.May we learn and grow together. May we ask questions and share wisdom. May we wonder about the unknown. May we sit in the discomfort of being wrong.May we tickle each other with glee - but only if we first ask for consent! May we respect each other's boundaries around ticking (and other boundaries).May we acknowledge our privilege in having access to this community, and that many cannot access it - even though they may be the ones who need it the most. May we do the difficult work of challenging the inaccessibility and ableism that shows up in this space; and the white supremacy in this space; and the colonialism in this space; and all the "isms" in this space. May we listen to those most impacted by these "isms". May we have hard conversations. May we be accountable to each other.May we be activists together as we resist oppression in the world. May we include slowing down in our activism. May we soothe and fuel each other, so that we are equiped to do social justice work. May we offer care to each other in tangible ways. May we normalize asking each other what are needs are. May we organize to collectively meet our needs.May we play together. May we cry together. May we love each other.Blessed fucking be.
Julie Nowak (she/they pronouns)
Educator / Consultant / Writer
Founder of The Seasonal Body
Jasmine offers a found poem 'Incantation for Dark Pleasure'
Tonight I bring pleasure
A life of “Get it while you can”
And “We won’t get out alive”
Auntie Mame told us life is a banquet
And most poor suckers are choosing to starve to death
So live Deliciously
Because you, are, beautiful
In your neuroqueer, disabled, chronically ill, mad life
In your burn it all down, build it back up, community building life
And when they say
“I cannot stop thinking about you”
“Your witchcraft turns me on”
“The things I want to do you you”
“I want to make love to you on the ashes of capitalism”
Take all that power in
Let none of it out
Save it for the darkness
The dead and dying
Turn it into magick
Let none of it go to waste
Turn it inwards
Lick it like honey off your lips
And savour its sweetness
And so it is
It is within you and me
Blessed fucking be
By Jasmine Stoffer (she/they)
Emily Offers a poem 'THE VEIL IS ALWAYS THIN'
the veil is always thin,
the dark just lets us see
secret realms don’t reveal themselves,
they are always there,
waiting like stars,
our eyes simply adjust
to the darkness
we wait all year for quiet
so we might hear spirits,
we wait for the dark
so we can see the ones we loved
but my loves,
there is no need to wait
they are all around us always
urging us to take a bite of this life
while we can
so for their sake and mine,
and while there are teeth in my head,
I will eat
I will eat
By Emily Chaney
Michelle Offers a prose poem essay 'Dreaming of Timeless Time'
trees dancing in sunlight
reciprocity ~ planet to planet
timeless time ~ stretching time
I am born ~ in my grandmother
stories told in circles ~ how far back to go
Vietnam War, 1955, the Ocean before?
Casting seeds into the void of the future ~ Can you catch them my future self?
The things we lost along the way ~ blooming in another time
Walking with MonKey in the daylight I notice all the leaves that are changing. The constance of change, the sunlight shining through the limbs. Providing the heartbeat as the leaves spin down. Covering the ground, mother nature’s winter blanket.
Being in relationship with all things is the eternal gift of reciprocity. I touch you, I am changed and you are too. I carry a small molecule of every being, place, and space that has touched me on this life’s journey. Fueling my inner light. In a time of times with the veil thinning, I remember timeless time that we lost along the way. The breath of breathlessness in a space where time stretches and pauses. We sit in this timeless time, you that offer reciprocity to me and I to you.
I think of telling my story as a way to cast seeds into the future for the mystery that unfolds in its own time. What are these seeds that need to take root, to ground the future in a timeless space? As we step through this threshold I look back and wonder where to start. Which part of this spiraling circle is the right mother seed?
In time it was 6:32 PM EST on April 28, 1977, in the Sun of Tarus, the Virgo Moon and Libra rising. Grounded in earth, turning high the emotional depth, learning to understand the balance.
But going further back puts the time at August 1976, a volatile time in the South like it has been since 1492. But I go too far for this point in the story. So I go back to my mother root starting, going to September 19, 1955. Or maybe even January 1955, when my mother’s eggs form from a series of cells joining and splitting. An emotional fingerprint forming in another threshold space, trying to move past the hatred. Wishing not to see my great grandfather in his white hooded cape. Wondering how many matches he lit. Knowing that a throughline spins back to 1619 and 1492, when whiteness pushed itself forth to bind us all to capitalism.
I continue to step back further down the spiral to past pains where we chose extraction and not reciprocity. Further back to that first one that realized a habitat space outside of the Ocean. Creeping into the sunlight above the waves. So that from that point in time on we would all be born in the eternal ocean in our Mother’s womb, a tiny space of Gaia.
Gaia that hurdles through space around the Sun that spins in the Milky Way that spins forever to the Center. The path of Gaia reforms the double helix of our wombs. When the womb turns to tomb turning to womb again. Timeless time, that is what I yearn for and what I offer you when we sit by the kitchen sink and you pour a cup of team.
The micro to the macro, wonder how to heal the wounds knowing all I can do is offer you timeless time. The truest reciprocity. And we are both changed for it. These things we lost along the way, our future selves see the seeds, pick them up and plant them. That is what we carry through this current threshold, so be sure to carry the seeds you can and leave the rot behind. Especially the war machines, dismantling it all with structures that do not serve.
The walking wounded of all the pain, look in my eyes and I’ll reflect back healing from the wars I know. Vietnam to the capitalist “police actions” to Iraq to Afghanistan to now again in the cradle of civilization. Reflecting back to the eternal wounds of what we lost along the way. My father and so many others eaten by the war machines.
So we dance and sing across the dark days of a pandemic and a world on fire, adding methane as the temperature rises more.
I carry wounds we can’t heal in this space, this time, because of too much extraction and not enough gifting. So again I offer you timeless time, greater that love is the space between the breath reaching and almost touching but fractal measures away.
This is what the veil hides, I lift it, I see you there, waiting on timeless time
By Michelle Lovejoy
Written during the cusp of the Full Blood Moon, Samhain 2023, Syracuse NY
Inspired by Missing Witches #210, 211 & The Living Myth #54
Erin J. Offers a poem 'MATRIARCHY'
My grandmother was a poet.
She grew up in Arkansas,
Poor white trash,
And studied by candlelight after everyone else was asleep,
Praying that her mother wouldn’t find her
Because, “Gracious heavens, Lena Grace,
Who’s going to want to marry
A girl with an education?”
So she put herself through a year of university
After she finished high school
And filled notebook after notebook with her poems.
She married a younger man
And raised three daughters alone
While he worked on the railroad,
Coming home every few days to sleep.
She cleaned the houses of rich women across town
To make ends meet,
And taught fancy manners to her girls
Hoping they were meant for something better
Than blue-collar husbands
And ketchup sandwiches.
My mother, arguably, is the best of her sisters.
Certainly, she is the steadiest.
When it was time for her to start college,
Her mother sat her down and said
“Education is all well and good
But promise me that when you finish
You’ll be able to do something, Rebecca,
Because what feeds your soul
Won’t necessarily buy groceries.”
So she put away her dreams of studying piano
And studied accounting instead,
Finding an unexpected gift
In the patient predictability of numbers.
She dated my father for four years
And when her parents despaired of it going anywhere,
She asked him to buy her a promise ring,
Refusing to be rushed to the altar.
She wore classic, tastefully cut suits
On Sunday mornings
And lived within the carefully painted lines
Of an appropriately submissive pastor’s wife.
And so, I find myself
The dead-end of a long line
Of women determined not to be like their mothers.
Of girls who spend so much time pushing back
That they struggle to find the border
Between “Me” and “Not You.”
But no matter how much red lipstick I wear,
No matter how much cleavage I show
Or how much loud music I listen to,
I will always be my mother’s daughter.
Because bull-headedness is in my genes,
Just like it was in hers.
Because I am a poet,
And a musician,
And I love learning
So much more
Than I love the safety and security of a spouse.
If I do marry,
It will be someone entirely unlike my father
Who will love that I paint outside the lines,
And we will raise our girls
To be just as brilliantly, stupidly stubborn
As all Cook women are.
By Erin Johnson
Erin B. offers a poem 'Jacob is wrestling with the angel'
in the windowsill, its papery wings
no match for his nimble, swatting limbs.
Some unassuming messenger,
an insect or maybe god, etc.
is torn coxa from thorax and left
to lie in rest until the pieces are swept
into a cotton fiber shroud on cleaning day.
Its message will be unheard, unheeded
while Jacob licks his hands clean,
barbed tongue on sheathed claws,
and turns to wash his brother’s feet.
Lynda Shares an Orphic Hymn To The Stars
TO THE STARS
The fumigation from aromatics.
WITH holy voice I call the stars on high,
Pure sacred lights and genii of the sky.
Celestial stars, the progeny of Night,
In whirling circles beaming far your light,
Refulgent rays around the heav’ns ye throw,
Eternal fires, the source of all below.
With flames significant of Fate ye shine,
And aptly rule for us a path divine.
In seven bright zones ye run with wand’ring flames,
And heaven and earth compose your lucid frames:
With course unwearied, pure and fiery bright
Forever shining thro’ the veil of Night.
Hail twinkling, joyful, ever-wakeful fires!
Propitious shine on all my just desires;
These sacred rites regard with conscious rays,
And end our works devoted to your praise.
From The Orphic Hymns. Translated by Thomas Taylor (London: Printed for the Author, 1792). Available at http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/
Others sent photos!
Killian offers a Simple Solstice Sunshine Spell
Hang dried orange wheels in your window as a reminder that the wheel keeps turning and now is the time to rejoice in the returning of the light.
Drying oranges in the oven is easy (consult your favorite search engine for the specifics) then just poke some holes and string them up.
Heather offers the ringing of bells
Hope offers homemade holiday sweaters
Still others brought songs!
Carly sang Jericho by Iniko.
I'm high, I'm from outer space
I got Milky Way for blood, evolution in my vein
I'm gone, I've been far away
I'ma lumineer now, makin' moves, startin' waves
I've been dreaming about flying for a long time
I had a vision from the grey's, they wanna co-sign
Artificially intelligent, new-AI
I'm your future, past and present, I'm the fine line
Amy Stella sang Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O'Conner
It's been so lonely without you here
Like a bird without a song
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling
Tell me baby, where did I go wrong?
I could put my arms around every boy I see
But they'd only remind me of you
I went to the doctor, guess what he told me
Guess what he told me
He said, "Girl you better try to have fun, no matter what you do"
But he's a fool 'Cause nothing compares, nothing compares to you
Happy Solstice, Merry Yuletide
with love from the Missing Witches Coven
Solstice Party! Happy Solstice Party. Happy December New Moon. I wanted to thank you so much for being here in these strange, strange days. It's just really so beautiful to see your faces. I've been so, I don't know, you know, lost and sunken. And it's just, um, let's just be together and see what, what we can weave, you know, just, just be in the darkest of days and be that little, little holler of a Yule song.
Um, I'm so excited to see what people brought. Um, I'm Risa from the Missing Witches podcast. I'm a 43 year old. White lady in a new pink hat, hot pink hat. Um, and, uh, a, uh, my mother in law's leopard print capelet. Um, and, uh, I want to invite us at first to light a candle. Let's just take a breath, if you have one.
Or take a sip of something. Or, mm, just rub your hands together.
So I'm Amy. I brought a pine candle to conjure the, the scent of either being in the forest or if you live in the city. Sometimes there are big lots of Christmas tree cellars and everything smells like the city until you get to that one block and the whole of the air is just filled with the scent of pine.
I'm lighting this pine candle to conjure that for all of us. Use your sense memory, if you can, to conjure the scent of pine. I'm lighting a candle that was given to us at a bookstore. It's a cauldron candle that says it smells like toil and trouble. So I'm throwing a little bit of toilet trouble on our altar today.
I'm going to start with this reading. It's from our book, New Moon Magic. In the dark of the Sagittarian New Moon, I invite you to become your most fully realized kitchen witch. Light a single candle before each meal. Stir maple syrup into coffee clockwise while you call forward what you need. Map your desires onto every water glass and gulp it down.
Plan the coming days and weeks like a recipe. How will you nourish yourself and your community? What will you invite into your system? Over the years, I've moved deeper into this wood's life and evolved out of my former shapes. I've been slowing down. I feel older and sometimes calmer. I feel my identity shifting into something participatory, an ingredient in the lake system that moves through me and my family.
I have become an ingredient in something larger than my potions, and I have become a potion maker. And so on the Sagittarian New Moon, I invite you to join me. Let's use food and drink to cast spells of gathering, of love and hope, of family weaving, of transubstantiation and renewal. Let's make potions that speak to our skins, our shells, our flora, the nerve fibers that hum from taste buds, sense receptors, emotions, the electrical linings of our digestive systems.
Potions for our outsides whispering in, and our insides singing out. Let's make a magic that is material, commingling with our sweat. Our stomach acids, our blood, our biome. Our crafting in this dark moon draws us closer into the leaky, spiraling circle of becoming with. To the juicy apple of the knowledge of good and evil, and to stories that include the human, the hunter, but aren't about him.
To a pouch, a net, a soup pot that holds both light and dark, theft and inspiration, crone and mother, seed and stone, nourishment and poison, patient and poet. If we are to dedicate ourselves to resisting the total consumption and destruction of all biodiversity and to re enchanting the world with seeds, storying and wring, that becomes with the more than human world, then we do well to take up the cauldron of possibilities that we call kitchen magic.
The experience of crafting food as a time traveling shape-shifting potion that allows us to step into another dimension. We cross time, we taste for a little while, another culture, we travel into the home of the recipe writer. There are always memories with us when we cook. Who ground the flour? Who knew to heat the pan before you crack the egg?
Who taught you? Who is here?
And so I add this to our introductions today. I invite you to Use the, um, reactions thing on Zoom to put your hand up if at any point today in our call, you are willing to put yourself on the altar of the call. What is it? Do you have a, did you bring a talent to share? Is there a song? Is it a reading? You want to just tell us something?
We're so excited. And I invite you when you introduce yourself to tell us who is with you, who is here. Um, well. I, I just want to, um, circle back to Risa and your, your kitchen party, um, this time of year. It's, it's all about how we gravitate to the kitchen and I think for us witches, um, we can think of the cauldron and what we add to the cauldron in this circle being our cauldron.
Um, at the beginning of the episode, you heard our missing witches, uh, you will. Carol, as performed by the Missing Witches Choir, and last year we started another tradition of inviting our coven to share in the telling and retelling of the story of our lives. Because this is a time that we come together.
Maybe Aaron will talk about this more, but if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, and I will say, most of our listeners do, also Ukraine. Russia, Israel, Palestine. These are all places in the Northern Hemisphere, and on December 21st, we all experience the longest night of the year. We are all in this together, and if nothing else, we can take this astronomical phenomenon as a reminder that we all have a voice in the choir.
That in this space and in this world, we all have a voice in this choir, and today we are sharing an experience. Half the world is sharing this experience. We share experiences of mourning and of joy, and when we come together at this kitchen party with this cauldron in the middle on these, in these dark, dark, dark nights, we can join this.
I see we have a very, very, very special guest today. It looks like the one and only Baba Yaga has joined us from, I guess we'll find out what realm. Thank you. What an honor to have you in circle with us tonight. Baba Yaga, how are you? I am very, very honored. Very happy to be here with you.
I am Baba Yaga. If you don't know me already, one thing you can know is I am older than time. I am the Mother Tree. I'm so deep in the forest that you don't see. I live where the heart of the world beats. In the crosshairs of the understory, my cilial network among the gnarled tree roots that some people think are my house's chicken feet, and some people think That the round trunk of my world tree is a circling house.
And there are stories about that.
In this world tree, I am busy. I am birthing the worlds. One after the other.
Some people want to come find me. You might not. But you may take the underworld journey. And along the way, you will get caught in the tangled web of my mushroom tendrils. In here, you can become deceased, you can destruct your body, and be composted into the birth of my next world.
You can also deconstruct your mind, untie the tangles, patriarchy. Dismantle and destroy exploitation and hierarchy. Confront your own fears and find your own powers to complete the impossible, impossible tasks. Like stopping war, stopping the genocide, stopping the pipelines, the extractions, the psychopathic leaders in the child slavery.
Then, then I will show you where you can retrieve the red jeweled seeds of life from your own flesh. And these. This will be your gifts that you will bring to the light, to share with the world, the new world that I am birthing right now. It is not better to do one thing or another. That is patriarchal thinking, but it is your choice.
And you must choose a journey, and that is a fact.
And on your journey, I want you to remember, in the deep, deep forest, multiplicity is how we stay balanced, and diversity is how we thrive.
Baba Yaga loves you all on the longest night.
We love you, Baba Yaga. I love your grin, too, underneath your cloak. You little wicked witch. Oh, man. Thanks so much, Deb.
Hope. You wanna go? You wanna go from there? Into, into the next where? I don't have anything as close to Baba Yaga, holy crap. Nothing will ever be the same, it's fine.
They're all, we're all in the roots. No, um, well, like my life has been like crazy. This is like my, this is literally my favorite time of the year. Um, it always starts from Halloween sewing on. And then you hit January and that's the fucking Monday of the year. I, I'm sorry, if anybody has a birthday in January, I forgive you because that is the worst.
I'm not, that's a wrong word. I've been drinking, can you tell? I'm in party mode. Hey! Okay, let me restart. If your birthday is in January, I'm really sorry that you have to deal with that month, because I think that month is so sad. Anyway, okay, December. I have been in Um, you know, my whole gift creation month, this is my magical time of the year.
I make so many different things, everybody in my heart and in my mind, um, as many of you know, I make things anyways, just because I love you and I send it to you just because I love you. But this year is like this time of the year is like different too. So, um, like I made this lovely shirt for tonight.
And I did it just before the shirt that we started. So I'm a little bit, and you can tell my, my blessed you all y'all. This is my room. This is like my craziness. This is the Zerk mode. Um, I've got things going all over the country. Studio. It's your artist studio. It is my studio and it's. It's, it's a mess.
And if you came in here, I think anybody would be like, but it's my mess. And I know exactly where everything is, so don't fucking touch it. Um, and I'm just, I, I don't, last year I read a ro a reading and I, I didn't get ready for that this year. I'm sorry everyone. It's been tough. Um, I'm hearing all of you that have been sick.
We've had a lot of I illness in the household when I'm doing everything I can to stay away from that so I don't get sick because that can take me down for like a month. Um, and I'm really like, I'm sending out all of my energy and Linda told me she's been sick. Amy, my god, COVID. What the fuck? Um, can that, can this not be over?
Can we not be done with this shit? Um, I'm just so pissed. Um, my daughter's been fighting. It's not COVID, but there's this new thing called white lung is what she read about it. Um. And it just for a month, she's had this bronchitis that won't go away. She's gone through four different rounds of antibiotics in a month and a half.
Like, what? Um, so my heart goes out to all of you. Um, I, a lot of the stuff that I've done for this year has been 100 percent you all related. And it's in my heart, in my mind, giving out as gifts to people that would not understand that. Um, typically that is my gig. Um, even the teas that I make. They're always based upon my form of magic, healing magic, um, people don't know, and that's cool.
I am good with that. I know, and the universe knows, spirit knows, that's what matters to me. Um, I'm not going to keep this long because there's so many people out there that are going to be able to do some, like, amazing things. And freaking Baba Yaga, sorry, I'm gonna, that is going to be my, my thing for the night.
So, love you, um, happy Yule to everybody. Happy holidays. Um, I really need the universe to get there, you know, help us. We have so many people suffering and in pain right now. Um, you know, we keep forgetting about, um, the Ukraine and, uh, you know, all the shit that's been happening. My God, Ukraine. Um, so we really need to send our, our magic and our energy, um, for those that are suffering in all of the countries.
tonight. That's all I have to say. Happy Yule. Love you. We love you too, Hope. And for the listening audience, can you describe your sweatshirt that you made, please? Yes. Um, so it just says, Blessed Yule. And, um, it's, it's a stag. So it's kind of represents Scotland for me. Um, Amy, you and I need to get together.
Like, it's too hard to try to talk about it on Circle. Um, but I would really love to hear what your experience in Scotland was. Um, I still can't, yeah, I think about it literally every day of my life now. I work Scotland into every part of my life. Um, I've always been connected to that entire part of the world, um, actually touching the soul.
I went with my husband to this outdoor museum, um, up in Cairngorm and. Um, it was the Highland Museum and one of the ladies that I talked to, she, um, mentioned, you know, I, I said to her, you know, I feel like as soon as I landed and I, my feet touched the ground. That I was home and I, I, I felt like I came home and, um, there's a term as a Gaelic, a Gaelic term for that.
And I, she said it so fast that I couldn't, couldn't remember it. Have you ever heard Amy? Are you, do you ever get into the whole Gaelic side of things by any chance? No. Okay. I, I am, I am on the search for the, there's like an entire, like saying. It's truly spiritual, um, how our spirit knows where it's meant to be.
And I found Scotland's really my place. So anyway, this is my shirt. It's, and I'm making another one, um, about Um, the, the Holly and the Ivy. Um, so as soon as I make that and I have it done, I will post a picture of it on, on circle for everybody to see.
I had to stop because I had to look up, is the word hi raise. H-I-R-E-A-T-H. It's like a longing and a home sickness for a place you've never been. Yeah. I'll send it to you. My, my brother in law is, was so moved by that word and that feeling he writes and thinks about it often. So yeah, I'll send it to you.
I'm homesick for a place we've never been. I certainly, for this idea of a peaceful world, I feel like I know it. I feel like I know what it's like. I miss it. Aaron, who are you today? Who is with you? What have you brought? Oh my goodness. My, oh, I'm the other Erin. I just put my hand up and I was like, don't go right to me.
Go to the other folks. You put your hand up and someone said your name. So that's Erin. I get it. Other Erin. I was literally about to ask me, Erin, or a different Erin. There's always many Erin's. There are always many Erin's. You know, it's funny, I didn't know a ton of other people with my name until I got older.
And then, in my professional life, I keep running into other errands. Um, and then also in my witchy life, I keep running into other errands. So, the sociologist in me wants to go back and like, interview people's parents to try to understand why they picked that name. Um, but that's Yeah, no I gotta, I gotta focus on my dissertation.
Um, I am trying really hard to like, um, I'm trying to really bring like a spirit of calm into the space because I, I realized yesterday that we only had like two more work weeks before the end of the year and we had like three more weeks worth of work to do. Um, And yeah, there's just a lot going on, but I'm here.
I'm with my dog Watson, who has a lot of feelings about The fact that we didn't get to go for a walk today, so I apologize if you hear from him. Um, I really feel everyone's, like, just that ongoing soul cry of how awful the world is right now. Um, I've been, like, trying to stay out of Twitter fights the last 24 hours because I work in abortion access and abortion research.
And, um, I You know, with the, the case out of Texas with Kate Cox, there's a lot of like scaremongering and misinformation and then like, you know, the orgs that I volunteer with are like, you know, let's try to redirect people like let's get on Twitter and try to try to calm people down and give them ways to act and I was driving today and thinking about Mr.
Rogers and, um, the, the idea that like when bad things happen, you should look for the helpers. And I think I would add to that, like, you should look for the helpers and join them. Like, don't just look for the helpers to feel better about the fact that people are helping, um, but like find a way to be a helper.
And, um, yeah, I think my practice this year for Yule is going to be to try to find Like, what is the light that I am birthing in the midst of the darkness? And so, for Yule Night, I'm going to sit down and write some letters to my, uh, representatives for, um, maybe about abortion access, maybe about the Israel Palestine conflict.
Uh, we'll see what the spirit moves me to do. But, what I actually wanted to share this evening was a poem that I wrote years ago that I was reminded of, um, At our last circle, our last new moon circle that I wrote about my relationship with my mother, and I felt like it would be really appropriate for the Yule season because a lot of us see family around this time of year, and maybe have complicated feelings about that.
Um, and I'm sure that most of us have heard the song, um, I am my mother's savage daughter. So someone rewrote that to be, I am not, I'm not my mother's savage daughter. And on the one hand, I love it because like, I am not the daughter my mother planned for, but there's also a part of me that's like, no, I am my mother's savage daughter.
Like she doesn't understand how I came out of her, but I see her in my wildness. Um, so that is what this poem is about. It's called Matriarchy.
My grandmother was a poet. She grew up in Arkansas, poor white trash, and studied by candlelight after everyone else was asleep, praying that her mother wouldn't find her because, gracious heavens, Lena Grace, who's going to want to marry a girl with an education? So she put herself through a year of university after she finished high school and filled notebook after notebook with her poems.
She married a younger man and raised three daughters alone while he worked on the railroad, coming home every few days to sleep. She cleaned the houses of rich women across town to make ends meet and taught fancy manners to her girls, hoping they were meant for something better than blue collar husbands and ketchup sandwiches.
My mother, arguably, is the best of her sisters. Certainly, she is the studiest. When it came time for her to start college, her mother sat her down and said, Education is all well and good, but promise me that when you finish, you'll be able to do something, Rebecca, because what feeds your soul won't necessarily buy you groceries.
So she put away her dreams of studying piano and studied accounting instead, finding an unexpected gift in the patient predictability of numbers. She dated my father for four years, and when her parents despaired of it going anywhere, she asked him to buy her a promise ring, refusing to be rushed to the altar.
She wore classic, tastefully cut suits on Sunday mornings, and lived within the carefully painted lines of an appropriately submissive pastor's wife. And so I find myself, the dead end of a long line of women determined not to be like their mothers. Of girls who spend so much time pushing back that they struggle to find the border between me and not you.
But no matter how much red lipstick I wear, no matter how much cleavage I show, or how much loud music I listen to, I will always be my mother's daughter. Because bullheadedness is in my genes, just like it was in hers. And because I am a poet and a musician. And I love learning so much more than I love the safety and security of a spouse.
And someday, if I do marry, it will be someone entirely unlike my father, who will love that I paint outside the lines. And we will raise our girls to be just as brilliantly, stupidly stubborn as all cook women are. Thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to share friends. Happy Yule.
I also saw Jasmine having a full body reaction. Full body fist bump. To your poem, so maybe let's pass the mic to Jasmine. Thank you again, Erin. Thank you, Erin. I felt that one. Aaron, how dare you call out the oil and water mothers and daughters. That was awesome. I would try not to cry to that. Amazing. Um, hi, everybody.
My name is Jasmine and my pronouns are she, they, I am a, uh, white, uh, long, dark haired. Uh, fat individual who's sitting down and, uh, is wearing black clothes and showing off some tattooage, cause that's how we're feeling tonight. Um, I am coming, bringing my voice because I have not used it for two weeks. I had my tonsils taken out thanks to long COVID and, uh, wouldn't wish that procedure on my worst enemy.
Um, so now I can speak and my voice sounds slightly different to me, which as a neurodivergent person, this is taking some adjustment, but, uh, we're getting there. I just went back to work today. And the students were so excited and, uh, there's eight days left of school. So it's holiday, holiday, holiday, every day.
Um, the vibes in the building, even though we are exhausted are still immaculate. And so, um, I recently listened to the most recent, um, Missing Witches podcast and Amy, you were talking about my favorite song of all time in the whole world when you said, get it while you can girl.
I was yelling at the phone listening to the podcast going like, like air fist bumps the whole time. Um, it's so topical for today. What's going on in the world and what has been the one thing COVID. And, I guess everything. I'm an elder millennial, so I, we've experienced a lot, and it just doesn't stop. Um, like Jana said, you do have to get it while you can.
And, um, as a fat woman, that has not always been the case. Cause we are so scared to exist in spaces, and take up spaces. Um, but many of you know I'm recently back on the dating market. And let me tell you, uh, occupying space is lovely, and individuals take note, and it's quite nice. I don't need outward validation, but it's nice.
So I wrote this poem today. It's a bit of a found poem of things that I have heard over the past week from the Missing Witches podcast, from movies and shows that I've watched, um, from individuals who have heartily attempted to win me over. Some have. And, and I think
for my mental health, as much as I want to be proactive and be a helper, I also need to step back and enjoy. Enjoy the pleasure that life can absolutely be and the holidays, as someone who has Central and Eastern European roots, German roots, where really Christmas kind of exploded, um, this is a very joyful, pleasurable time.
I've already eaten my weight in Lindor chocolate balls, and, you know, the, the, we're just gonna keep going with it. So this is a bit of a found poem. I guess it's more of an incantation. So just like I did with the Access Needs, um, presentation, I want to sort of give this out as more of like a spell, uh, an affirmation.
So here we go. Tonight, I bring pleasure. and delicious darkness. A life of get it while you can because we won't get out alive. Auntie Mame told us that life is a banquet and most poor suckers choose to starve to death. So live deliciously, because you are beautiful, sexy, sensual, in your neuroqueer, disabled, chronically ill, mad life.
In your burn it all down and build it back up, community building life. And when they say, I cannot stop thinking about you, or your witchcraft turns me on, or the things I want to do to you, or even I want to make love to you on the ashes of capitalism. Take all that power in. Let none of it out. Save it for your darkness, your cold, your dead and your dying.
And turn it into magic. Let none of it go to waste. Turn it inwards and lick it like honey off your lips and savor its sweetness. And so it is within you and me. So welcome Yule and blessed fucking bee.
I love you all very much.
That was, um, thank you for that incantation. May we all live Jasmine's poem. And I do want to say before we get off the topic of, you know, our favorite sad girl that, um, when Janis Joplin went away to school, her classmates voted her ugliest man on campus. Can you fucking believe that? Um, and that probably would have destroyed me, but she was like, Oh, this face, we're going to put this face on the cover of the Rolling Stone.
So take that. And I try to remember that, you know, like your classmates or whoever, take the metaphor wherever you want to take it. They can say what you want, but you're going to be on the cover of the Rolling Stone. Cheers to that. Heather. Happy solstice. Happy solstice. I'm Heather Darby DeMarco, a middle aged ish white lady with very big gray hair.
I think the older I get, the bigger it gets. It just has like its own little life that it lives, with or without my permission. Um, usually I'm the flame tender, but I think Jasmine's the flame tender tonight. Hi! Fuckin hot. Okay, tonight I'm the bell ringer and you might not be able to hear the bell, so let's see.
This bell is an actual school bell that I purchased from a very haunted, um, antique shop and it sounds like a school bell it's big and loud and this little bell sounds tinkly and sweet like kind of like a sleigh bell but um a little higher like it might actually have come from the heavens at one point
um the reason i'm the bell ringer
Um, I think when you are awakened by bells, it has very specific meanings to me, but mostly it is an alarm or an alert, but it's also a wake up call. Like spirit is going wake up right now, whatever you're doing that you need to banish, whatever is bothering you. It is time to ring those bells and get that out of the way.
And. Thanks. I thought this, and then I picked up my Seasons of the Witch Yule Oracle by Juliet Diaz and, um, Lorraine Anderson, and I pulled a card and I got Ringing of the Bells, so I'm like, okay, spirit, we hear you. I know you can't see, um, the card is a big deer with a stag with antlers and, um, little bells around their neck, um, and it's by a snow flocked, um, pine tree of some sort.
And the card says, ring thy bell to cast them out, ring thy bell and dance about. Swirl the sounds amidst the winds, nowhere to hide for all will ring. Um, you have pulled ringing the bells because something distressing is in your life and you are being called to banish it. So the invitation, my dear coven mates, is on the longest night as we move to through the darkening days.
So every day is a little darker and then we'll get to the longest night. We always have a choice on that solstice moment. Do we call back in the light or do we revel in the darkness and I think I've done both, depending on the year and how I'm feeling and how many teeth I have and how many sores and what feels the best.
But I like the idea of banishing something, um, and really allowing it to go out loudly. So, you're calling back in the light, but right before you do, you have to let the dark go. You have to push the dark out with this sound or this growl or this bell. It's something that clangs and rings in your dreams.
So that is the invitation, you know, what can you really just spit out for solstice before you call the light back? What is really, really longing to be swept away or chased away with bells and fire, love and lightning, for sure.
We do an annual. Um, caroling party around the lake, hollering and dragging kids. That's on Yule this year. I'll make sure there's bells this year. Chase them out loudly. Out into the fucking night.
I think too a lot about how this is, Mother's Night is so core to Yule. We're right on that edge and we're birthing and it's ridiculous. Ridiculously violent and dangerous and scary and miraculous. Michelle Lovejoy. Welcome. How are you? Who are you today? And Michelle Lovejoy. I live on the land of the Tuscarora in Raleigh, North Carolina.
And this is probably my third new moon I've joined you guys for. So I feel a little nervous, but this is a safe space. I know that. Yeah. I'm, uh, 40. Six 47 year old white female of Irish and German descent. And I work in the world of climate adaptation. So what I want to share with you all is a very short set of notes.
That was a point that I turned into a longer essay. The point part was written on October 27th, and then I expanded it into the essay on the 20 nights. So, right around the full moon then, and it started on a walk. And two of the inspirations were Missing Witches podcast number 200 and 211, as well as a Michael Mead podcast, uh, 54, I think a lot about time and how it expands and shrinks.
And so I thought this was appropriate because, you know, the winter solstice is where time stops. Some people feel, and I also had a friend ask me about a year before this. When I was going to write my book, I was like, my book, who would want to hear my story? And so this was kind of ramblings of how you could potentially start a story.
I may never write the book, but here goes trees dancing in the sun, reciprocity and planet to planet timeless time, stretching time. I am born in my grandmother stories told in circles, how far back to go. Vietnam, 1955, the ocean below, casting seeds into the void of the future. Can you catch them, my future self?
The things we lost along the way are blooming in the future time. So, walking with monkey in the daylight, I notice all the leaves that are changing and the constants of change. The sun shining through the limbs, providing the beat as the leaves spin down, covering the ground, mother nature's winter blanket.
Being in relationship with all things. Is the eternal gift of reciprocity. I touch you and I am changed and you are changed. I carry a small molecule of every being, space, and place that has touched me on this life's journey, fueling my inner light. In a time of times with the veil thinning, I remember timelessness time that we lost along the way, the breadth of breathlessness in the space where time stretches and pauses.
We sit in this timeless time, you that offer reciprocity to me and I to you. I think of telling my story as a way to cast seeds into the future for the mystery that unfolds at its own time. What are those seeds? That need to take root in the ground in the future in the timeless space as we step through this threshold.
I look back and wonder where to start, which part of the spiraling circle is the right mother seed in time. It was 632 PM on April 28, 1977, and the son of Taurus and Virgo moon and Libra rising grounded in earth, turning high the emotional depth, learning to understand the balance. But going further back puts the time at August 1976, a volatile time in the South, like it's been since 1492.
But I go too far from this point in the story. So I go back to where my mother's story took root in September 1955, or maybe even January of 55, when my mother's eggs formed from a series of cells splitting, an emotional fingerprint forming in another threshold space, trying to move past. The hatred.
Wishing not to see my great grandfather in his white hooded cape, wondering how many matches he lit, knowing that a through line spins back to then and further back to 1492, when whiteness pushed itself forth to bind us all to capitalism. I continue to step back further down the spiral to past pains when we chose extraction and not reciprocity.
Further back to that 1st, 1 that realized habitat space outside of the ocean creeping into the sunlight above the waves. So, that from that point on. The time we would all be born into the eternal ocean in our mother's womb, a tiny space of Gaia, Gaia that hurls through space, through the sun, that spins the Milky Way, that spins forever to the center, the Papa Gaia reforms in a double helix of our wombs, when the womb turns to a tomb, turning to a womb again, timeless time, that is what I yearn for, and what I offer you when we sit by the kitchen sink, And you pour a cup of tea, the micro to the macro wonder how to heal the wounds.
Knowing all I can do is offer you this timeless time, the truest reciprocity. And we are both changed for it. These things we lost along the way, our future selves, see the seeds, pick them up and plant them. That is what we carry through this current threshold to carry the seeds you can and leave the rot behind.
Especially the war machine, dismantling it. With all the structure that does not serve the walking wounded of the pain looking in my eyes and I'm reflected back in the healing of the wars that I know, Vietnam to the capitalist police actions to Iraq, to Afghanistan, to now again, in the cradle of civilization, reflecting back the eternal wounds of that we lost along the way, my father's and like so many others.
So we dance and sing across the dark days of the pandemic, a world on fire, adding methane as the temperatures rise. I carry wounds we can't heal in this space, this time, because so much extraction and not enough gifting. So again, I offer you timeless time greater that love is the space between the breath reaching out and almost touching, but fractal measures away.
This is what the veil hides. I lift it and I see you there waiting in the timeless time.
Thanks for letting me share.
Thanks so much, Michelle. Thanks for being here and for being brave enough and wise enough to have written that and to share it with us. It's really nice.
I feel like, um, Really lucky to be in this group. Thank you all.
Sandra, how are you?
Hi. Um, I'm, uh, Let me start by, uh, I just put it in the chat. Would you, Michelle, would you be, uh, gracious and maybe a half step more courageous than you've already been? Uh, I know that there's a space on the website, um, for poetry and stories and, and offerings of that type. That, that would be wonderful.
I'd love to read all, read all that again. Thanks. Really well said. Um, yeah, thank you so much for that. Sandra took the words right out of my brain. Yeah, that was intense. That was wonderfully intense. Um, so my name is Sandra. I'm a. God, I just turned 50 in October. Hooray! I joined my first Missing Witches Moon, New Moon circle right before my milestone birthday and I discovered the community and I've been so, um, I'm so fortunate.
I've been in a season of It's, for me, it's been a year of, um, harvesting things that I planted long ago, um, like earlier this year and last year and the year before and back in my childhood when I owned the skills of discipline and, you know, when I would just hear all the, the other kids at school would give me absolute shit for.
Reading and writing and creating like I did and making endless notes upon notes, and I just, you know, take, take the bruises and, uh, you know, metaphorically and literally and just keep being me as best I could. Um, and this year, especially the last couple months, especially, um, have been a very sweet harvest for me personally, which is difficult to reconcile because the world being what it is.
I've got just. Little bit of survivor's guilt going on because the world is such a shit storm. And yet I had the most amazing Day on Sunday. I just can't possibly begin to describe it So it's it's a very stark contrast and it reminds me that You know, my spiritual practice was, I think, um, rooted in witchcraft and paganism before I knew, before I was cognizant of any of that.
I've always watched the moon with a fascination I never understood at the time. Um, but in the last 10 years, uh, it's a, um, it's Dip the toe into Zen Buddhist practice and the women ancestors and those lineages to so much wisdom to share. Um, and there's a saying that, you know, coming and going is just like this.
Um, and that's very much the spirit of what the winter solstice is like. It's, it's, it's the going within and the, the blossoming again. Um,
and I wanted to share, I'm, I'm a huge word nerd. Um, I haven't written anything to share, but I write, I think on paper. And what I wanted to share is some of my notebooks. Actually, I only have the one at hand. I moved recently. Thank you. I moved recently and I still can't find many of my notebooks, but I have the most recent one.
Of course. I use it daily. This is how they start and I will describe as best I can. For those who are listening on the audio. This is a five and a half by eight and a half. Notebook with a plain black cover. Uh, it has a large metal spiral binding along one side. Um, it's, it's just a plain notebook. I get, I get these at a, a large, uh, crafting store.
I think this one probably came from Joanne's when they have buy one get one sales. I stock up on them. They're unlined. They're good for. pasting things into, printing things and pasting them into, they're good for drawing, they're good for, you know, I have a little valentine's card that my kid gave me that particular year, or that particular time I was working on this notebook.
Those have since morphed into, um, Gradually, you know, morphed into something more of a bespoke personal creation, because it's all nice and well to put something inside the book, but I like decorating the cover. This, that I'm showing to a group, is the same style of notebook. Five by eight. large spiral binding along the side.
But on the cover, I have a, um, I can't quite put a, put my, um, brain on the name for this type of pattern. If someone who has the word would help me out. Um, Baroque, there you go, Baroque filigree, kind of, um, black printing on brown craft paper across the bottom and the very top. In a diagonal pattern and running across the swath of the middle is an orange blossom, orange and flowers and leaves and little blue flowers.
against a white background. And, um, this came from wrapping paper from a book that I purchased from the Pema Chodron Foundation on loving kindness. And I thought, well, how wonderful. I not only purchased the book, but I purchased material for a new notebook too. Um, and thinking in words like I do, I have a quote, a little snippet that I put across the top here.
It says living in my life, not just living life, but living in my life. Which really, um, hit home with me. Anyways, um, so, that kind of, that kind of, uh, taking little, little things and, uh, making them into something meaningful and significant. Something that's a marker of, this is what this time was like. Um, and speaks to me in a way that just words can't.
Yeah. Thank you. Um, I very much appreciate the space to share. And, um,
yeah. Thank you for that, Sandra. And, and hope to like, thanks for the reminder about, I really struggle with this, like, taking my life, taking the time in my life to make a small thing I interact with beautiful. I really struggle to allow myself that pleasure, and it is totally like shame fueled about my, my.
being allowed to have pleasure when the world is a catastrophe. Do you know? It really is. The little things are the big things. Yes. Yeah. I want to like wrap my arms because I understood it's hard. There's that guilt. And you don't, we are humans and that kind of guilt, I don't know, I don't know where you all are with religion and spirituality, but I grew up with like guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt.
There's this like heavyweight that just want to push you down like a fucking panini. And I have to like, I have to lift that, that, that thing up and say, no, I don't want to be eaten right now. I want to enjoy this. We have to enjoy these things and we. We have to honor those that are fucking son. Sorry, they're suffering.
Yeah, we can't not think about them. We can't not honor them. We can't not do everything in our spiritual power to try to make things change. But. We can't let what they're going through. If or not. Does that make sense? Yeah, and also you make me think of Aaron earlier saying, you know, find the helpers and also help them.
It's like, find, you know, like that's us too. Find myself as helper and help me. Find helpers in my community and feed them. Make something more delicious, more joyful, more beautiful for them. You know, like that is a way that, that weaves in both. Instead of making me stand in this violent opposition to myself.
Somehow, you know. Okay. And that, that's exactly why Arisa, you and I write about resistance and re enchantment. I mean, we have to, yeah, we have to have both. I refuse, I mean, I'm, I, I said to a friend of mine the other day, like, I don't think anybody who has a conscience is feeling fucking great these days, you know.
Nobody. But I also refuse to be robbed of my joy. You know, what little, what, what I, what I can get while I can. The, the joy scratching. So I'm not going to be robbed of those. So. It's like Hope said, you know, what, let's make it matter. Let's just make everything matter. Like whether we're laughing or crying, let's make it matter.
No, usually, Amy, I would, I feel like you do. And this time, for some reason, I'm having a, also having a harder time with being joyous. Like it's, it's been harder this time. Fuck yeah. Fuck yeah. That's why I'm like saying like any little scrap that I can fucking find, I'm going to hang on to it because it is so much harder.
It is so much harder right now. It's so much harder right now. So I want to fight harder to hang on to the, you know, to hang on to the moment where the chickadees are lighting lightly on my bird feeder. And, and I know that I'm going to get sucked back into the real world any fucking second now. I know it.
So it almost drives me harder to like focus as hard as I can on that one chickadee. Even one tweet of one chickadee. That's so beautiful. I mean, I don't know. It's just what I, it's just what I'm trying. It's just what I'm trying. I bet. I know. I know Aaron B brought some science, you know, let's, let's drop some science on all of this and our feelings.
Oh my goodness. How do we feel about science? Yes. I could talk about it all day. Um, Hi everybody, my name is Erin B. Uh, adding that final initial is how I got through many years of school, never being the only Erin. Uh, with all genders accounted for in the room, so shout out to the other Erin present tonight.
Um, I am a white human person with short brown hair, wearing a black band tee and a green button down. And, I wrote myself a note too, uh, I've just put on a crocheted pointy black witch hat. Thank you. Um, Yes, age wise, I'm experiencing my first Saturn return. Uh, that's all I'll say about that. I'm an Anglo Settler descendant of Western European lineages, living on the land of the Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Odawa people in the Great Lakes region of the Northern Hemisphere.
Um, To call back to Reese's earlier question, joining me for the circle tonight is Juno, the hound dog. Uh, she's a small brown dog curled up like cinnamon roll behind me here. Uh, she's kind of a loud dreamer if she starts whimpering and, you know, screaming, yelling. She's chasing chipmunks, uh, in the other, you know, in the other sphere.
Um, also with me is, uh, the memories of some beloveds. So the memory of my beloved feline, familiar Goose. I have a photo of him on this little altar I've got going on. Got a lovely little altar space here, um, hanging out with me. Um, And I've also got, uh, the memories of, uh, some folks who are part of my ancestor altar that's lit up over in the corner, so.
Um, and a tiny Persephone, also my queen of the underworld. Um, yes, so, uh, science. We love it. It was one of the the profession of being a science and all loving coven is one of the things that that drew me from being only a member of the uh coven we make in the space between our ears the podcast, uh Which I think about all the time to actually being part of like, you know the zoom room as it were Um, I, uh, as I mentioned, I live in the Great Lakes region of the Northern Hemisphere, so, uh, seasonal depression has been with me since I was a child, um, the, and, you know, even before I had any type of Earth honoring or even Earth noticing inclinations, like, just the idea that, like, okay, if I can make it to December 21st, that's the, shortest day and the longest night and it only gets brighter from here.
Um, I would like say that like a chant even as a kid. Um, and so, uh, in my ad lib for our beautiful Yuletide carol, um, which we heard at the top of the episode, um, I mentioned that the, you know, the solstice is an observable astronomical fact, I'm going to put an asterisk after that because western science is, uh, you know, objective, quote unquote objective, in so much as anything can be objective when reality is subjective, but let's not get too far into it, maybe.
But, uh, yeah, I mean, uh, this is a known phenomenon that happens because the earth is as far away from the sun as it's going to get with, you know, tilt on it's 23 and a half degree axis. Like this is something that's observable. It happens. It's real. Um, Meanwhile, you know, I was raised in the Catholic tradition.
Um, I really strongly subscribed to the vision of Jesus, uh, that. Is kind of proclaimed by the writer, Sophie Strand. Um, they refer to him as, uh, Yeshua, the magician of Nazareth. Uh, and, uh, I love that depiction of Yeshua as, you know, a magician, uh, rooted in place doing acts of magic, loving on his people, loving Mary Magdalene, an extremely powerful person.
Um. And, uh, no one knows when he was born. Um, some scholars think that it was September. Some scholars think that it was like March or April. Um, you know, uh, I think, um, it will not be the first time that many folks in this circle are hearing, right. That, uh, the, you know, Christian church as a, uh, you know, as a motivator of empire and a motivator of, of conquering and taking over as many peoples and lands as possible.
Um, Over the earlier centuries of human existence, like, you know, we're very keen on Adopting the traditions of the people that lived in those regions and and syncretizing them, you know merging them with the Merging the pagan beliefs in the earth honoring and indigenous beliefs with the beliefs of the church as a political institution In order to gain power and to conquer and that's why we celebrate the birth of Six pound eight ounce sweet baby Jesus here on the solstice.
It has nothing to do with the birth of Yeshua, the magician. Um, the solstice to me is all about, uh, making it through that long dark night of the soul, powering down, entering torpor, like really just loving on each other and being together, generating warmth inside and out. Like as much as we can, it's the only way that we get through it.
So, uh, that's where I'm coming from on this solstice. Um, I'll also say that, uh, as, you know, astrology is like a main modality of mine. I want to say happy birthday to all the Sagittarian witches and all of the Capricorn witches out there. Um, I am very much like a first half of the year girly, a lot of my placements are like Taurus, Cancer, Gemini, Virgo, and this side of the year just vexes me.
I, beyond the underworld, there are some completely other shit that I, like, I'm not understanding at all. And I, I need as much Sagittarian and as much positive Capricornian influence as I can get in my life. No shade, but sometimes it's a little too much, you guys. Um, yes, Reid has asked, can I say the Jesus magician phrase again?
So Sophie Strand, the writer, uh, refers to Jesus as Yeshua, the magician of Nazareth. Um, Kind of, uh, situating him a little bit more in his time, uh, in his own culture, um, and, uh, with the abilities that he was revered for, yeah. So, yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, I brought a, a poem to share with you all. Uh, this is a poem that I workshopped with The Coven.
Shout out to Em for kind of organizing and stewarding, herding cats into like a writing circle that, you know, about monthly, a group of us will get together and, uh, share different things, poems, spells, uh, sometimes satire, which was very cool. Julian shared some satire, which was rad. Um, and, uh, I'm workshopped with the group a couple months ago, and Uh, that is in its second draft due to the influence of the folks that are here in the circle.
So, um, this is a poem about my cat and also about God.
Jacob is wrestling with the angel in the windowsill. Its papery wings no match for his nimble, swatting limbs. Some unassuming messenger, an insect, or maybe God, etc., is torn coxa from thorax and left. To lie and rest until the pieces are swept into a cotton fiber shroud on cleaning day. Its message will be unheard, unheeded, while Jacob licks his hands clean, barbed tongue on sheathed claws, and turns to wash his brother's feet.
Thank you. Bless the fucking bee.
Carly. Hi. Come find your mute button. Hi. I didn't expect to be next. Okay. Hi. How's everybody? I hope you're all doing well. Um, yeah. I am I'm struggling this year, but honestly, compared to where I was last year, I'm like, happier to be here. I'm also in my first Saturn return, so I can't remember who said that.
I'm really sorry, but hey, same place as you. I get it. Um, I'm joined by my cat in the background. Oh, right here. This is Lunasa. We call her Luna for short. She's really cuddly and cute. Hi Luna. I'm also joined in that photo there. This is where. This one, my dad who passed two years ago, he likes to sit in there, and my cat likes to play with the photo while he sits in there, so I have him here today as well.
Um, yeah, so I'm going to share a song with you guys. Um, I'm going to just because I know I don't want to waste everyone's time and keep talking because I could do that and I, you're never a waste of time. And also we all know that, you know, people are tired, people have to go to work and stuff in the morning.
So I'll just get right to it. Um, I'm very happy to be here. By the way, I missed last time because I fell asleep because of work. So really happy that I didn't fall asleep this time. But I'm gonna share a song, um, it's not Christmas y, but it's just very witch powerful. Thank you, Ho. Um, it's just like a very powerful witchy song.
I'm not gonna sing the whole thing, just because, um, honestly, the song is just, I think you guys really need to just listen to it on your own, but the first part, My cat's playing with my charging cord, so I'm just gonna hold the phone. Amazing. Um, but the song is called Jericho, and I don't think I'm going to say this correctly, but I believe the artist's name is Iniko.
If you guys want me to put it in the chat, I will. I'm also going to go to the lyrics because I don't want to mess up the song, but the first part of the song is just really, like, powerful and vibey for me, and I'm also just going to do it acapella because I don't have the background songs. So just give me one second.
Okay. All right. I am going to start after I drink water. 1 second.
I'm high, I'm from outer space, I got Milky Way for blood evolution in my veins. I'm gone, I've been far away, I'm a lumineer now, making moves, starting waves. I've been dreaming, I've been flying for a long time. I had a vision from the grey, they wanna co sign. Artificially intelligent new AI. I'm your future, past and Fine line, yeah, I'm a missing link of this illusion.
I am not really here, I'm an intrusion. I don't swim, I sink, I just float. I don't need gravity, I just need growth. Oh, when I move, it's an earthquake rumble. I will never, ever fall, never stumble. And I don't need to be humble. Break down walls like Jericho crumble. That's all I'm gonna do.
So, yeah, it's a really great song. Um, it gets very like, uh, I can't even describe the amazing, this artist talent, but I will put the name in there and you guys look at her, all her other songs. I'm always just vibing with her. Oh my God, Dex. Yes. Yeah. I love her stuff. Thank you so much, Carly. That was so brave and badass.
And I'm so excited to go listen to everything. Yes. All right. Well, thanks for letting me share. Emily. Happy Solstice. That was amazing. Thank you everyone for all of your beautiful talents. This has been such a fun, such a fun circle. I'm glad to have made it. Um, my name is Em or Emily. My pronouns are she, they.
Um, I'm a white bitch. Uh, I am wearing a scarf as like a balaclava. It's very cozy and uh, a sensory joy. I'm in a dimly lit room, got some candles burning on the altar, um, and I'm really grateful to be here with everyone. Um, I have a couple of poems that I would like to share. Uh, these are two that I just were brought to mind as I was listening to, uh, Risa doing the reading from the New Moon book that I have yet to get my hands on, but I feel like I I must now.
I already felt like, you know, it was on the list. I got so many books I got to read. I can't, I can't be spending so much money on everything that I'm already not using the stuff that I have of it. Um, but yes, this one is called Oatmeal. In her bath, she holds herself tight and thick, warmed and expanded into herself.
An echo of mycelial oneness she knew when she and her sisters were growing in the field. She will stick to your ribs, too, staying with you through and afternoon. Her Holy Spirit is spooned to the lips of children and the elderly. She rejoices with raisins, blanched almonds, cinnamon, and butter. Bread may be the body of God, but Christ in a bathtub is something more cosmic.
When hot water is poured over me, I, too, relax into myself. The water infuses into me and I her, and we push the boundaries of my skin into folds on my fingers. And when we have had our fill of each other, and our temperatures align, I scrub my saturated body with sugar and cinnamon, and season my skin with oil.
I am the spell cooked in the cauldron, I am the body of Christ, Dried on the edges of the bowl, ever present in the cycle of spoon and soak and scrub.
Uh, I have one more, if that's cool with everybody, this one, uh, Jasmine, this one goes out to you. Um, thank you for sharing. I, it's Get it while you can. It's get it while you can. Season. All day. Every day. This is called The Veil is Always Thin. The veil is always thin. The long nights just let us see. Secret realms don't reveal themselves.
They're always there, waiting like stars. Our eyes simply adjust to the dark. We wait all year for the quiet, so we might hear spirits. We wait for the darkness so we can see the ones we loved again. But my loves, there is no need to wait. They're all around us always, urging us to take a bite of this life while we can.
So for their sake and mine, and while there are teeth in my head, I will eat. I will eat.
Y'all bless the fuckin bee.
Thank you so much, so much. This is, again, like, the whole idea of what we do at Yuletide is this poly vocality, this many voices, like, who is the Missing Witch's Coven, you know? Risa and I talk a big game about D. De hierarchizing, and this is how we do it, by passing the microphone to all of you, whether you're singing in the choir, or reading your poetry, or bringing our attention to a song that somebody else wrote that just really, you know, makes you feel the fire within.
Um, it's so exciting. And this is, you know, ching, ching, ching with my jingle bells, the most wonderful time of the year for this reason, because we come together at our kitchen party and throw all of our ingredients into this cauldron and stir and stir and stir. Amy Stella. Hi, everybody. Happy solstice.
Happy solstice to you. Uh, I'm, uh, my name is Amy Sella. I have long brown hair. I'm wearing, my knitted creation today is, uh, an alpaca bee honeycomb pattern, apistor seda, if you're on, uh, Ravelry. And, uh, I wanted to talk about, uh, it's funny that Hope talked about Scotland because I also have Scottish roots and I love Scotland.
I've never been, I've never been to Ireland either, but that's been, All through my brain lately because I mean first we lost Sinead O'Connor earlier this year and then Shane McGowan just passed not too long ago and interestingly enough his funeral was on Sinead's birthday, December 8th. So, um, in addition to all that Irish stuff, like, my grandmother was the person who was most loving to me growing up.
Uh, her, she died right before St. Patrick's Day, which is right near my birthday. All of this is connected because I wanted to sing, I would have sang Fairytale of New York. I've been thinking of that song non stop through my head, but it's sort of a duet, and that'd be kind of hard to do. Um, so I hope you'll Oh, come on.
I mean, we could, but I wouldn't Come on. I thought I would sing some Sinead and not, Troy, Troy is my favorite song by Sinead, but I'm just going to do Nothing Compares to You, even though Prince wrote it, I know, but I'm going to sing it because it's, it's something I think that could honor her. So I hope you indulge me in that one.
I'm so happy. Thank you, Carly, for singing. I love your singing. I'm not going to sound that good because I have a sore throat, but um, here goes.
It's been 7 hours and 15 days, since you took your love away.
I go out every night and sleep all day, since you took your love away.
Since you've been gone, I can do whatever I want.
I can see. Whomever I choose.
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant. But nothing, I said nothing can take away these blues. Cause nothing compares, nothing compares to you. It's been so long since you've been here. Like a bird without a soul.
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling. Tell me, baby, where did I go wrong?
I could put my arms around every boy I see. It'd only remind me of you. I went
to the doctor and guess what he told me? Guess what he told me? He said, girl, you better try to have fun no matter what you do. But he's a fool, cause nothing compares, nothing compares to you.
And then there's like the long glidy part of the video with the, you know, she's walking really sad. You guys may know the story that the single tear she brings forth is she's thinking about her mom. And how much she wanted a mother that loved her and didn't. All the flowers that you planted, mama, in the backyard All died when you went away I
know that living with you, baby, was sometimes hard
But I'm willing to give it another try. Cause nothing compares, nothing compares to you. Nothing compares, nothing compares.
And then she kind of walks off by the statues and some lovely green Irish plates and fan end of scene. Thank you for letting me sing.
That was amazing. Thank you. I died 17 times.
And, um, you know, we have so much to learn from Sinead O'Connor and. Um, it was, uh, a tragically unsurprising, kind of, you know, like very shocking but tragically unsurprising to have lost her this year. And so I hope that you'll come back for every Solstice Special and sing that song so that we never forget how fucking brave she was.
And may we all be as brave as Sinead O'Connor. May we all speak the truth, no matter what the consequence. Or whoever might have something to say about it, whoever might throw tomatoes when we're on stage. And may we also be the Kris Kristoffersons who go and put our arms around the Sinead O'Connors at those concerts and say, don't listen to those motherfuckers.
I just wanted to say like, Sorry, I actually saw her in concert right after, um, it wasn't after the tearing up the Pope. It was after she refused to let the national anthem be sung. And she was playing at SPAC, which is Saratoga. Um, shout out to my upstate New York person there. Um, And she actually wore a wig before the concert and walked around to listen to see what people would say.
And then she got up on stage and said that she, you know, this is what I just did, FYI, I was walking among you, and then she sang, get up, stand up. And then she was just like, get up, stand up! Like, fuck everyone. It was amazing. So, may she rest in power. Rest in peace. Alika,
what truth did you bring us for our solstice? So, I've been feeling very insular lately. So I don't know, everyone can see my room is very dim, but I have a bowl and in it is some roasted chicken and potatoes in bone broth because I've been sick and I know there's a lot of people who've been sick. So, warm nurturance, I guess is what I'm bringing this this time because it's needed.
And I don't know I've just, the world is like so. Into like this hard power and there is a time and place for that, but I think right now while it's cold and while people are needing more softness, more actual nurturance, not just, you know, the placating, you know, hopes and, you know, prayers type BS we hear all the time, but actual substance with the nurturance.
And I feel like that's where our, not only our world, but like, even like for me personally, the, um, I feel like I'm, I'm getting the chance to really take care of myself. In a substantial way for the first time, because I'm not worried about taking care of other people and taking care of this thing at work or taking care of that other trivial thing over there and feeling like stripping all of that away to what's really valuable and including myself in that
and really feeling the inclusion of that for myself for the first time and. That's something that I think everyone needs. So here's to that.
Thank you for the big warm bowl of soup.
Let's all take a minute and feel ourselves ingesting a sip. Kalika's big warm, warm soup.
Hannes, I know you brought some motherfucking joy up in this house. I know you did. I know you did. So lovely. Um, actually everybody here is so lovely. Amy, that singing, I, I wish I could sing. I cannot, but it's so beautiful. But everybody's beautiful. Like, let's, let's be real here. Um, but I just want to share my little, um, My little doggie's with me.
He's, I don't know if you can make him out in the millions of blankets, he kind of blends in, but he is this guy right here. Right here. And that's what we should all be. This
new, um, you know. This time around, uh, in life, we should be surrounded with blankets, all soft and warm and cozy, because why not, right? Um, I, I've had such a good year, and as many of us have said, you know, it's hard to kind of wrap your head around it, because you, See what's going on in the world and you want, you want that happiness to, to, to be for them too.
Um, and actually starting in the summertime, every new moon, me and my family, we try to do something to give back. So today we took a whole bunch of new toys that my children had been given. They're like, mommy, I'm not going to play with this. We should just not open it. And we donated. A box full of brand new toys, um, was one of the toy drives in our area.
So, um, we. We try to give back. We've been so fortunate this year and I'm so, you know, lucky to say how fortunate I've been. I've just been given a promotion at work. And I thought, you know, what's the best time to give back? I've become a manager and, you know, I'm not going to be one of those managers. I want to manage people like, you know, have my team and manage them with love.
And I know that seems really weird working in a corporate environment, but you know what? Everybody, everywhere, I think you can bring Love and kindness to it and it'll show it'll show. Um, I had, you know, five strong women directors VPs pulling for me for this role and, you know, just shows the goddesses all around us.
She's all there for us. Um, and just something in our cabin we've been doing. Um, I'm going to share my little Lady that I've created, but we're making, we're doing poppet magic. So I want to, um, show my little poppet that I've made. I've never really made anything before. Um, so I just kind of tried it on my own.
So she is somebody I've made in my coven. Um, so we've made her little dress. She's got the white cords. And I've made her a little cape as well to go, you know, because it's cold. Can you, can you describe the materials you used? It's all yarn. It's all yarn and felt. Um, the dress is made out of felt. And then like, if you look, it's all just made out of yarn tied together.
I've braided the arms and then her hair because the, the covermate that I'm, I've made this for, she's got all gray hair. So I've made all her hair gray as well. Because, you know, I want to make it in her likeness. So I don't have a story or a poem or a song, but I do have my little puppet that I've made full of love for the rest of the year for everybody.
Um, and I'm just, you know, hoping that, that we can have some more brightness in the world. But that's what we really do need. She is wonderful. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Thank you, Linda. You had a pretty heavy visceral reaction to Amy singing Sinead. I don't know if you feel comfortable getting into it before you say what you wanted to say, but if so, please share your viscera.
Oh, Um, yeah, I just, her singing was so beautiful, and that song just breaks my heart open, I would say. It's just a heart opening, heart breaking, beautiful song, in the best way. And, um,
I don't know, just That kind of love that you feel for someone when nothing compares to them, and I can definitely relate to, you know, that feeling. Um, Hi. Happy Solstice. Happy Solstice. Perfect segue. Um, I'm Linda. I'm a 48 year old, curly haired, cancerian, human. Spirit being, I, um, I live in Philadelphia. I, Lena Lenape land and
I've been thinking about the solstice and I guess becoming aware lately of how much, how much magic I don't let in. And so I'm thinking of really allowing myself to receive the full magic and not being. Afraid of that
with the intention that I can be a microcosm and that we can all up level in our ability to,
to not just do the magic, but to like, allow all of the results to come to their ultimate fruit.
Um, I thought, I'm going to read an Orphic hymn. I thought, um,
this one's to the stars. And I thought we could all use some miracles and magic at this time. And there's kind of nothing more magical than the stars. So I'm gonna see if I can bring some of that. Oh, I forgot to say, I'm also bringing a little bit of Dolly Parton with me and my little Dolly Parton candle and a tiny cauldron.
And I'm gonna pinch a tiny bit of incense before I read this so that
the stars can receive our offering.
To the stars, with holy voice I call the stars on high. Pure sacred lights and genii of the sky. Celestial stars, the progeny of night. In whirling circles beaming far, your light. Refulgent rays round the heavens ye throw eternal fires. The source of all below with flames significant of fate, ye shine and aptly rule for a path divine in seven bright zones, ye run with wandering flames and heaven and earth compose your lucid frames with coarse unwearied
Pure and fiery bright forever shining through the veil of night hail twinkling joyful ever wakeful fires propitious shine on all my just desires. These sacred rights regard with conscious rays and end our works. Devoted to your praise.
Yes. Living for the reading too. The dramatic reading. Thank you so much. I'm sorry. I'm a bit giddy. You really got me fired up there. Okay.
Julian. Hi everyone. Happy Solstice. Happy Solstice. Um, I am Julie or Julian. I use she, her, or they, them pronouns. I'm a white person with wavy brown hair that comes to my shoulders and I'm wearing a plaid shirt and a black vest. Um, I'm feeling a little scatterbrained, but we'll see how this goes. Um, I didn't think I was gonna share anything and then While you all were talking, I was prompted to write a blessing for the coven, uh, which I've never done before, I've never written a blessing before, but um, I felt prompted to, so I'm gonna read this blessing I wrote.
Okay. May we spend time together in loving ways. May we embrace both joy and sadness as we gather throughout the year. May we celebrate when we have things to celebrate. May we hold each other when we break apart. May we encourage each other as we birth new ideas into the world. May we learn and grow together.
May we ask questions and share wisdom. May we wonder about the unknown. May we sit in the discomfort of being wrong. May we tickle each other with glee, but only if we first ask for consent. May we respect each other's boundaries around tickling and other boundaries. May we acknowledge our privilege in having access to this community, and that many cannot access it, even though they may be the ones who need it the most.
May we do the difficult work of challenging the inaccessibility and ableism that shows up in this space, and the white supremacy in this space, and the colonialism in this space, and all the quote isms in this space. May we listen to those most impacted by these isms. May we have hard conversations, may we be accountable to each other, may we be activists together as we resist oppression in the world, may we include slowing down in our activism, may we soothe and fuel each other so that we are equipped to do social justice work, may we offer care to each other in tangible ways.
May we normalize asking each other what our needs are. May we organize to collectively meet our needs. May we play together. May we cry together. May we love each other. Blessed fucking be. The end.
Blessed fucking be! So mode it be. I love a may we. I love a Maywee. Thank you so much, Julie. I love a Maywee. I love a Maywee. Killian, tell me. Good deal. Um, so Killian here. Uh, they, them pronouns. Um, I've scared off my cat who was, uh, cuddling with me just a moment before. Um, and, um, uh, thank You, everybody, for everything that you've shared today, um, I just wanted to share a, um, simple little, uh, solstice craft spell thing that I did last year and I loved so much, um, so I wanted to share, um, if you take oranges and you cut them into slices so that, um, they look Like wheels, you know, when you cut them long ways into slices and you dry them out, then you can string them up and hang them in the window, um, to help call in the sunshine, um, as the days are starting to get longer, this is what it looked like in my window last year.
Um, and it just brought me. Joy, every single time I looked at it or came home and it was gray and sad outside and I knew that the days were getting longer and the sunshine was coming back. And then I think I took it down at the equinox, at the spring equinox. So anyways, that's, that's all I wanted to share.
William, will you send us that photo so we can share it? Oh, thank you so much. I have one more thing. Um, Linda doesn't have much of a voice tonight, so she asked me to share her poem for the winter solstice. Breathless. So I'm going to do that now. Dead branch fingers reach in supplication. Adoration framing her round fullness.
in the silver pale sky. The clouds try to cover her, fly before her, but reflected radiance chases them away until they sweep round her, circling the orb with crystalline prisms of shattered rainbow light. This night is hushed, thin blanket of snow, sprinkles silence with each unduplicated flake. Winter's kiss falls softly.
The percussion of bare limbs makes muted rhythm behind the melody of wind. The world waits under this silver perfection, paused in one eternal instant, open and awake within the quiet winter somnolence. She knows, hibernation is not sleeping, meditation is not dreaming, and the stillness is the center of every dance.
Tonight, the dancing meets the pause, a holy pas de deux, whirling snow rising upon the soft cold winter wind, hanging for that illuminated second, weightless. In the crisping air, until she breathes once more, the stillness cracks. And we dance again around the axis of the world. Thank you, Linda, for that solstice poem.
And Risa, happy solstice. Happy solstice, Amy. Happy solstice, Coven. Coven, happy Yuletide, happy solstice. Happy talking together, happy cauldroning, happy kitchen witching in cauldrons, in covens. And blessed fucking be. Blessed fucking be. Blessed fucking be. Blessed fucking be. Blessed fucking be. Blessed fucking be.
Blessed fucking be. If you want to support the Missing Witches project, join our coven. Find out how at missingwitches. com.