The Missing Witches Prescriptions

Rx. We Have Sung In Tongues Of Angels And Then Stumbled On The Pavement

Something's lost, but something's gained In living every day.

By Risa Dickens, Amy Torok,

Feb 10, 2024
6 min read
Anaïs Mitchell | Joni Mitchell | Tracy Chapman

This week the prescription is to follow bright stars, trace threads of hope to see where they lead, leave our egos at the door, and bring flowers to the feet of our crone singers, our comrades, sweethearts.

Start with Bright Star by Anaïs Mitchell.

We have sung in tongues of angels
And then stumbled on the pavement
And I understood my place then
And my purpose in relation
To the young and ancient night
Bright star.

Then follow the thread, like Risa did, to Mitchell's Tony Award-winning musical Hadestown. My teenage musical theatre nerd is officially in love with this working-class retelling of Persephone's travels through the underworld, especially the hauntingly prophetic, circular late-capital logic of Why We Build the Wall:

The enemy is poverty
And the wall keeps out the enemy
And we build the wall to keep us free
That's why we build the wall
We build the wall to keep us free
What do we have that they should want?
We have a wall to work upon!
We have work and they have none
And our work is never done.
That's why we build the wall.

Mitchell wrote this song 10 years before Trump began spit-screaming his manic distraction battle call to build the wall. How do we follow the glimmers at the edges of our vision to sketch future knowledge? Let's try time-traveling through these past episodes about prophecy:

Saleema Nawaz: Songs For The End Of The World,

Monefa Walker: In The Next Ten Years Everything Will Change,

Octavia E. Butler – Diversify Or Be Destroyed

As we craft and conjure for bright futures, we'll need each other. So nurture your allies and accomplices with Comrade, Sweetheart, a song by Bonny Light Horseman which Risa had bookmarked to share in the Rx. for weeks but only found out while pulling these threads is also Anaïs Mitchell (with Eric D. Johnson, and Josh Kaufman.) Because of course it is. Because for this week at least we find our threads are all connected.

And maybe it comes from looking at things from different angles, from both sides and allowing that everything we thought we knew before was just a glimpse of what is.

With that in mind, Amy's first prescription is to check out Joni Mitchell's recent performance of Both Sides Now, weep if you must, and note how the lyrics hit differently as sung by an 80 year old, instead of a twenty-something.

I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

Do we ever really know life at all? Do any of us have it figured out?

Next, in a state of mourning, Amy laments the closing of her favourite local witch shop and encourages us all to find and support that tiny, magical hole in the wall in our own town. Amy asks how many of us had our minds blown open the first time we entered a store like her Charme & Sortilège Montréal, and found a home away from home, a place where magic is very very real.

Together, Amy and Risa wax nostalgic over Tracy Chapman's Talkin' 'bout a Revolution:

And finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin' 'bout a revolution
Yes, finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin' 'bout a revolution, oh

Let's look at life from both sides, from win and lose, turn the tables and whisper our revolutions into the bright stars.

Coven Events

Coven Event: Body Doubling

Saturday, Feb 10 11:00 AM - 02:00 PM EST

Hosted by Kalika: "Body doubling is a productivity strategy used by individuals with ADHD to finish possibly annoying jobs while having another person beside them.

You can have your camera on or off, have your mic on or off, stay for the whole time or just pop in to say hi. I'm going to be cleaning and doing some paperwork. So bring your projects! (cleaning or otherwise)."

Coven Course: Mending Hearts - Alchemizing Grief Through Stitching

Sunday, Feb 11 02:00 PM - 05:30 PM EST

Hosted by Lorraine: "This intensive workshop explores trauma, loss, hopes, and dreams. You will create 3-D fiber sculptures through wrapping and meditative stitches. Thread, needle, and fabric become vehicles that aid the repair of our lost and broken hearts. Transform personal grief and longing into powerful pieces of art. You are encouraged to bring broken objects, keepsakes, or souvenirs you would like to place inside the heart. This could take the form of shells, rocks, jewelry, small household/domestic items, etc."

Coven Event: Book Love Club - Nature Writing

Tuesday, Feb 13 08:00 PM - 09:00 PM EST

Hosted by Risa: "Bring a book or a poem where nature lives on the page, we can share excerpts and nurture our love for the more than human world together!"

Weavers Only: Co-Working Cauldron

Monday, Feb 5, 12:00 - 01:00 PM EST

Weavers is the almost-highest tier of the MW Coven, and Weavers Cauldrons are like the prep kitchen for folks who are stirring up some heavy magic. We make a container to work on whatever project is calling to our most magical selves, we bounce ideas off each other, sometimes Amy DJ's live, it's pretty great. 

You must be a supporting member of the Missing Witches Coven to attend (or host!) coven events and courses. We'd love for you to join us!

Mutual Aid / Collective Action Corner

Support for Trans Youth in Western Canada

From Jess: "In Western Canada, provincial governments are targeting the rights of trans youths through “parents bills of rights”, which essentially force teachers to out students to parents, or cause youth to hide who they truly are. While communities have rallied, governments have chosen not to listen in order to cater to anti-trans constituents and groups. In my own province of Saskatchewan, this bill of rights was passed. Currently, Alberta is trying to do the same thing.

Any magical support you can give to the community is potent, as well as financial support to organisations that are advocating for basic rights for LQBTQ2S+ folks. In my province, you can donate to Trans Sask which is a province-wide organisation to support trans, genderqueer, and other beautifully diverse gender expressions.

Many of these organisations and groups have also been advocating for a ceasefire in Palestine, recognising that liberation for one is liberation for all.

I created a small binding spell to assist, if desired!

A Spell to Bind Transphobic Governments:

Take a photo of a local government representative and as you wrap it in ribbon, chant 3X:

“I bind your hate, I bind your bigotry. Liberation for one is liberation for all. So mote it be,”

Place in a jar with vinegar to serve as symbolic fire, or burn.

Trans Sask – Our diverse team of two-spirit, transgender, and non-binary people make TransSask what it is — an organization by trans people, for trans people.

Coven Offerings

From Emily: "Just wanted to recommend this book, “Frequently Asked White Questions” by Ajay Parasram and Alex Khasnabish especially if you are white and Canadian (written in a Canadian context). It emerged out of “Safe Space for White Questions” sessions at Dalhousie University as a space to ask non-judgemental questions and have conversations around race. The sessions can now be found online on YouTube “Safe Space for White Questions” for anyone who would be interested in learning more."

From Harmony: "So I caught Covid. I'm very lucky because it was a mild (though uncomfortable) experience, and I was able to obtain affordable antibiotics fast. Normally, I get sad when I'm sick. It's hard not to despair about a now 4-year-old pandemic that the government has urged us to forget...

I found my optimism through comfort and gentleness. I binged Anne with an E, played cozy Nintendo games, made an ice lantern (before the body chills took hold), and remembered that I can live in and fight for the Other America.

I'm still quarantining, but this interview with Chappelle Roan feels like a beautiful reentry into my normal virus-free body. She talks about healing her inner child as an art practice, channeling the queens of pop, and making music that says something and feels like bubbles. I'm going to spend today dancing like a silly goose to The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess with my partner."

Can you think of someone who might like.. all this? (She said, gesticulating wildly.) Forward them this email with all our love!

Blessed Fucking BE!

Risa + Amy

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