Witches of America

21 01 2019

Alex Mar’s book on modern day witches didn’t inspire me to look further into a pagan revival in our contemporary context. If anything, it sort of reinforced my previous ideas of how we’re all living in one massive consumer survey, it’s just some people’s tastes are more “interesting” than others. Mar takes us on a journey through various contemporary schools of “witchcraft” such as “Faery,” Wicca, Celtic Neo-Paganism, and perhaps her most dramatic encounter, the Ordo Templi Orientis. In these spiritual quests, she stumbles upon various problems facing those seeking the sacred in a de-sacralized society: the issue of paying for initiations, the logistics of holding ceremonies in rented hotel spaces, and the intersection of magic and modern relationships. The “human story” was thus probably the most interesting element of the book, but that may not be saying much. Read the rest of this entry »

Bottle Spells

16 06 2009


Lafayette, Louisiana, September 3rd, 2004 :

Among the soda bottles and lost basketballs floating down the Vermilion River, there are things much odder and mysterious.

The Vermilion River could be called a one-way hoodoo highway.

Over the years, more than four dozen ordinary, little brown plastic prescription bottles have been found in the murky water — each filled with blue or pink powder and strange, rambling spells meticulously written on scraps of paper.

Paul LaHaye, the watershed projects manager with the Bayou Vermilion District, oversees the collection of tons of debris pulled from the river each year.

Each time one of the brown bottles surfaces, LaHaye dries out the contents and places them in a plastic baggy or cardboard box labeled “Voodoo,” that sits in his office.

Read the rest here