Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Magician

In 1989 I was arrested in Coshocton County and was wearing a homemade pentagram.  Unfortunately, there was another witch in the jail at the time who had been arrested doing something disgusting with a goat in a cemetery that I won't go into detail about.  Needless to say I was treated as if he and I were the same religion.  I was interrogated for 2 hours prior to lock up and it is my equivalent to modern day witch hunting, torturing, and burning.  They still burn witches today, they just do it on paper!  To this day, I do not wear a pentagram everyday.  When I make one for someone, I tell them this story.  I think it might have gone better for me had the jailers not known I was a witch.  And while I am not ashamed of being a witch, I realize that flaunting it can get me a lot of trouble I don't have time for.  I don't want to spend endless hours defending myself and my religion to someone on the religious right.  Likewise, I don't want to be interrogated by the court system, prosecutors, police.  It just isn't something I like doing.  I would rather be in my studio making something and leaving the defense of my religion to someone who loves to debate.
Of course when I requested that the jailers allowed me to have a pack of tarot cards, they said no.  I had a librarian friend who came to visit me and I asked him to bring me a pack of blank index cards and the book The Feminist Tarot by Sally Miller Gearheart.  He brought me those two things that passed through the jailers discriminating eyes, and I began making each and every card.  I would make 5 or 6 of them a day with the jail bic black ink pens and my index cards and the book as my guide.  I was in there 45 days and by the end of my stay I was reading the jailers cards for them.  The very same jailers that denied me access to a commercial Waite Tarot Deck!  If you look at my Magician card closely you will see some modifications I made in the foliage.  The plants that I have used as my ally's, the morning glory, datura, cannibals sativa, are all in my handmade card.  I feel that my time spent making each and every card was educational and it turned a very unmagical environment into magical space.  Sally Miller Gearhearts Feminist Tarot is out of print and hard to get.  But I find it the most potent source and translation of the Waite Tarot Deck.

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