Episode 2.7: Season Finale

Happy full moon and winter solstice! We’ve reached the end of another year, and boy are we ready to move on! So long, 2018!

Please enjoy this reflective episode as we look back on Season 2 and the witches who inspired us to get through this rather challenging year. (Apologies for Katie’s mic issues!)

Our theme song is “Moon and Spruce” by Sarah Littledrum.

Listen to hear our answers to the following questions:

“Which witch…”

  • Inspired you to learn something new or to improve your craft?
  • Helped you to see other people in a new light or to better understand your own position in society (and/or take social action)?
  • Changed the way you think of your body or the human body in general?
  • Taught you something about the natural world or encouraged you to heal and/or connect with your environment?
  • Encouraged you to create art or foster a spiritual practice?
  • Made you laugh?

“What was your favorite/ most magical moment from doing the podcast?”

“Which witch wins the ‘Witch of the Year’ Award?”

You can find all of our previous episodes here.

If you enjoy listening to the podcast, please fill out this short (5 min) survey and let us know how we can improve things for Season 3! Thanks, witches! See you in 2019!

Episode 2.6: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Happy full moon! This month we’re discussing Netflix’s new show, the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. There will be spoilers!

Content warning: brief mentions of Larry Nassar and Brett Kavanaugh, racial slurs, lynching, homophobia, transphobia.

Our theme song is “Moon and Spruce” by Sarah Littledrum.

Here’s a listening guide for the episode. (For a description of our segments, go here.)

Introduction (0:00 – 3:11)

“Treguna, Mekoides, Trecorum, Satis, Dee!” (3:17 – 32:06)

  • The show’s depiction of witchcraft as an inversion of evangelical Christianity
  • Wicca
  • Appropriation and misapplication of various religious and pagan symbols
  • Sabrina’s visions
  • Exorcism scene (power drawn from the women in Sabrina’s family tree)

Related Links

The Nutcracker/ “girl goes fantasy world”  conversation started on Jeannette Ng’s Twitter

“Bald Heads and Queer Noses” (32:13 – 46:27)

  • Witch bodies vs. human bodies
  • Witches’ lack of respect for others’ bodily autonomy
  • Sabrina’s erasing Harvey’s memories (with a kiss!), cursing Mr. Hawthorne, attempting resurrection
  • Witches’ treatment of familiars
  • Demonic possession and a man-eating Lilith
  • Portrayal of Sabrina’s body in the comics

Related Links

She-Ra is a recent example (on Netflix, too!) of a female character being reclaimed by women: An All-Female Writing Team Gives ‘She-Ra’ a Modern Makeover for a New Netflix Reboot

“Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?” (46:36 – 1:13:15)

  • Susie = a non-binary character (played by Lachlan Watson, a non-binary actor)!
  • The show’s ambiguous, 60s-esque setting + its flat depiction of high school
  • Is Sabrina a good witch or a bad witch?
  • Prudence and the show’s difficulty navigating race
  • White women = complicit in white supremacy
  • Cousin Ambrose and Sabrina’s aunts

Related Links

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina‘s Non-Binary Character Deserves Better

Star Tati Gabrielle Talks Giving Depth to Prudence

In Defense of Prudence Night

Why Can’t Black Witches Get Some Respect in Popular Culture?

Cousin Ambrose is the Most Compelling Part of Sabrina

Final Spells (1:13:19 – 1:26:25)

  • The nature of spells (Latin vs. vernacular, words vs. intention)
  • The comics’ influence on popular ideas about witches
  • Jenny’s lunar ritual: Gemini Sage Moon

Related Links

Tarot-Inspired Character Palettes

 

Episode 2.5: Shadow of Night

Happy full moon–and Halloween month!!! October’s full moon is the Hunter’s Moon, which is perfect, because in this episode we’re talking about the continuing adventures of Diana Bishop in Shadow of Night (book two of the All Souls Trilogy) by Deborah Harkness. (Listen to our episode about the first book in the series here.)

Content warning: domestic violence, sexual assault, Brett Kavanaugh, miscarriage.

Our theme song is “Moon and Spruce” by Sarah Littledrum.

Here’s a listening guide for the episode. (For a description of our segments, go here.)

Introduction (1:00 – 3:49)

Which Craft? (3:54 – 33:05)

  • Sensory details
  • Clothing as a means of communication
  • Historical figures and events–fitting the story into an early modern context
  • Audiobook narration (read by Jennifer Ikeda)
  • Structure and genre (meta discussion about vampire novels)
  • Logistics of time travel
  • Matthew and Diana’s character growth

“Are you a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?” (33:08 – 53:40)

  • Wide range of female characters!
  • The Earl of Northumberland’s hearing impairment
  • Fatherhood and losing a child
  • Christopher Marlowe and gay villains
  • Matthew and Diana’s relationship

“Bald Heads and Queer Noses” (53:43 – 1:20:40)

  • Diana’s objectification (and elbows!)
  • Marcus and Phoebe
  • Reading Diana’s body
  • Early modern understandings of memory and bodies as texts
  • Diana’s pregnancies and miscarriage
  • Diana’s familiar

Related Links

Witches Plan Ritual to Hex Brett Kavanaugh

“Round about the…Satis Dee” (1:20:43 – 1:44:23)

  • Nature-based symbols (bee and snake)
  • Cyclical nature of time
  • Self-discovery as process
  • Alchemy and the Arbor Dianae
  • Diana and Philippe as liminal characters
  • Rituals and rites of passage

Final Spells (1:44:28 – 1:54:21)

Blooper Reel (1:55:20 – 1:56:50)

episode 2.4: the witch doesn’t burn in this one

happy harvest moon, witches! and happy fall equinox!

this month we’re discussing the witch doesn’t burn in this one by amanda lovelace. content warning for discussions of sexual assault (+ a brief mention of louis c.k.) and eating disorders.

our theme song is “moon and spruce” by sarah littledrum.

here’s a listening guide for the episode. (for a description of our segments, go here.)

introduction (0:00 – 2:01)

which craft? (2:08 – 27:16)

  • what is poetry? and who can write it?
  • organization and structure; repetition
  • fire imagery
  • poetry as visual art: lowercase text, font color/ size, white space, etc.
  • poetry as an open text; allusions to other works of literature and pop culture

works we reference:

related links

secret feminist agenda episode 2.16: poetry is cool

rupi kaur: the inevitable backlash against instagram’s favorite poet

the comedy-destroying, soul-affirming art of hannah gadsby

“are you a good witch or a bad witch?” (27:20 – 37:15)

  • making space for all women
  • fallacy of “not all men” and “boys will be boys”
  • the “not like all the other girls” trope

related links

“not like other girls” trope

rupi kaur

“bald heads and queer noses” (37:17 – 49:45)

  • textual bodies: writing through trauma, women as more than textual objects, reclaiming our voices and stories
  • bleeding poetry
  • eating disorders and body image

secret feminist agenda episode 2.18: fat liberation

“eat” by zion t.

male authors writing female characters

“round about the cauldron go” (49:49 – 1:08:05)

  • lavender
  • what we can learn from trees
  • self-love potions
  • the importance of breath and clean air
  • symbolism of fire

related links

the lavender menace

lunar ritual: parsley moon (1:08:08 – 1:11:41)

final thoughts (1:11:45 – 1:14:05)

 

next month we’ll be discussing shadow of night (book 2 in the all souls trilogy) by deborah harkness. you can listen to our episode about a discovery of witches (book 1) here.

Minisode 2.3: Women in Power

July’s moon is known as the Blessing Moon, Buck Moon, and Lavender Moon, and today’s full moon is particularly magical. Not only is it a deep red blood moon, but it is also the longest lunar eclipse of this century! So take the chance to harness some of that powerful energy!

In this minisode we discuss some of the incredible women running for office this November–and rant a fair bit about the realities of living in a patriarchal society.

Our theme song is “Moon and Spruce” by Sarah Littledrum.

Part One: Magical Experiences, Discoveries, and Thoughts

“Doors”- MJ Hegar’s political ad

“The Courage to Change”- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s political ad

“With blunt talk and compelling stories, viral videos are turning unknown women candidates into political sensations” (The Washington Post)

“These women have won their primaries. Will they be elected in November?” (The Washington Post)

“The Women Running in the Midterms During the Trump Era” (The New Yorker)

This American Life: “It’s My Party and I’ll Try if I Want To”

Unladylike: “How to Stop Getting Screwed in the SCOTUS”

Evangeline Lilly interview

Part Two: Witchy Recommendations

Circe by Madeline Miller

The Encore by Charity Tillemann-Dick

Caraval and Legendary by Stephanie Garber

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard

Episode 2.3: The Jumbies

Happy Midsummer and Matariki (Māori New Year)! June’s full moon is known as the Strawberry Moon, Oak Moon, Honey Moon, Mead Moon, Rose Moon, and Basil Moon.

In this episode we discuss The Jumbies (audiobook), written by Tracey Baptiste and narrated by Robin Miles.

Our theme song is “Moon and Spruce” by Sarah Littledrum.

Here’s a listening guide for the episode. (For a description of our segments, go here.)

Introduction (0:00 – 4:42)

Which Craft? (4:46 – 13:21)

  • Story inspired by Caribbean fairy tales like “The Magic Orange Tree”
  • Island setting, Caribbean culture
  • Audiobook narration: wide range of voices that reflects the diversity of the Caribbean
  • Reading songs in books
  • The early reveal of Severine’s identity and humanization of her character
  • Reinforcing the theme of balance by alternating points of view

“Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?” (13:27 – 31:22)

  • Nuanced depiction of “bad” characters
  • Multiculturalism in the Caribbean reflected in the characters
  • Celebration of dark skin
  • Core group of friends: 2 girls and 2 boys
  • Malik as a non-verbal character
  • Overlapping issues of indigeneity, colonization, slavery, and immigration
  • Fear of the unknown, “us vs. them”
  • Biracial bodies, merging of different communities

Related Links

Colonization of the Caribbean: Before Europeans

Slavery in the Caribbean

“We Are Not a Nation of Immigrants”: “We should say: We are a Nation of Immigrants, Descendants of Chattel Slavery & First Peoples of this Land. This would compel all Americans to acquaint themselves to the true history and sacrifices of this land that carved out the opportunities they now enjoy.”

“Bald Heads and Queer Noses” (31:28 – 39:12)

  • Jumbie bodies
  • The witch’s body and her shriveled arm
  • The loss of Dru’s hair

“Round About the Cauldron Go” (39:18 – 51:52)

  • Opening scene: Corinne running through the forest chasing her mother’s necklace–sets up centrality of the island enviornment and Corinne’s growing power
  • The witch’s magic vs. Corinne’s magic (both based in natural world) and the liminal spaces they inhabit
  • White witch vs. green woman
  • Severine’s cooking vs. Corinne’s oranges
  • Severine as force of death, Nicole as a force of life
  • Corinne saves the frog, then the frog saves her

Related Links

The Green Man

“Treguna, Mekoides, Trecorum, Satis, Dee!” (51:58 – 57:09)

  • Forming Magic–connected to child-bearing?
  • All Hallow’s Eve and graveyards
  • Importance of the ocean and the fish folk
  • Wax figure of Corinne’s mother

Final Spells (57:14 – 1:00:55)

  • Logistics of interspecies reproduction
  • Not your regular “dead mother” trope

New Segment! Lunar Rituals with Jenny (1:01:00 – 1:06:43)

  • Lovely suggestions for celebrating the summer solstice
  • Thoughts about the power of oranges (and the sun)
  • Rituals for the Basil Moon

Re: our comments about family separations at the border. We recorded this episode before the new Executive Order. However, most of the families that were separated have not yet been reunited, and those that have are still being held in internment camps. You can help by calling your representatives and donating to the following organizations:

You may also want to participate in a Families Belong Together event on June 30.

Minisode 2.2 May Grab Bag

May’s full moon is known as the Flower Moon, Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon, and Bee Balm Moon. (Check out the end of this post for a fun lunar ritual!)

In this not-so-mini minisode we touch on a whole range of topics, including the reframing power of travel (perfect for a full moon in Sagittarius!); the grounding effects of place and heritage; Carnival and the liberation of marginalized bodies; the peculiar magic of royal weddings; fairies, ghosts, and monsters, and just about everything except witches–which is ridiculous, considering our conversations were centered around New Orleans and Scotland! (To make up for it, I’ve linked some witchy recommendations below.)

Our thanks to Sarah Littledrum for providing the theme song, “Moon and Spruce” (she gets a bee-themed shout out from Jenny in this episode!), and a very special thank you to Linda’s sister, Alisha, who rescued Linda’s recording for us when Linda was out of town.

Finally, if you are moved by Linda’s account of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, please consider donating to help the people of Puerto Rico who are still suffering from the damage caused by Hurricane Maria. You can find a list of relief organizations here.

 

Related Links

Our Outlander episode

Our Akata Witch episode

 

About women and masked/ liberated bodies in Carnival:

The Masked Merriment of Mardi Gras

History of All-Female Krewes

Women krewes march, dance into Mardi Gras history

  • Excerpt: “All the clubs owe a huge debt to the women-led social aid and pleasure clubs. … That image of women being able to be sexy and have a different body type really came from black Mardi Gras.”

NOLA History: Women in Carnival

“Carnival and the lower body” from Ritual in Early Modern Europe by Edward Muir (a little more on the academic side, but it unites several threads of our discussion)

  • Excerpt: “Carnival liberated human consciousness and permitted a new outlook by allowing common people to organize themselves ‘in their own way’ as a Carnival crowd. According to Bakhtin, the basic mechanism by which Carnival achieved its liberating effects was through turning the world upside down, especially by privileging images from the earthly underworld and the lower body, what Bakhtin called the ‘material bodily lower stratum’ represented through ‘grotesque realism'” (99).

 

About Scotland:

History of Scotch Whisky

Katie’s travel blog (see the Gryffindor apartment here)

Culloden Battlefield

Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition

Grey Cairns of Camster (which Katie crawled inside and immediately regretted)

The Jacobite Steam Train (aka Hogwarts Express)

Witch trials in early modern Scotland

 

Witchy Recommendations

Louisiana State Museum

Witchy things to do in New Orleans

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

Secret Feminist Agenda Episodes 2.18 and 2.19

Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland by Lisa Schneidau

Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2018

All of Scotland! (Katie stayed in the Highlands, but if you happen to go to Edinburgh, be sure to check out all the witchy things!)

 

And finally, here is the ritual Jenny shared from Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook. (Plus a resource for creating your own rituals.)

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