film

Witch & Popcorn

July, 2019

Bright Blessings, film lovers!

With massive amounts of rain this month in my home State, floods have been on my mind, and I was going to re-watch An Inconvenient Truth, but discovered Before The Flood was available on Netflix, and I just could not resist.

Lauded as a ground-breaking, engaging film addressing serious issues of our time, this film did not disappoint, and I want all of you to watch it if you haven’t already.

Here is the entire film on You Tube you can watch:

A National Geographic film directed by Fisher Stevens, it was narrated by Leo DiCaprio. It follows DiCaprio’s three-year journey that took him across the world, and had him interviewing countless scientists, experts on climate change, social activists, and even Presidents. The film earned Best Documentary from ‘The Evening Standard British Film Awards’, and also, ‘Hollywood Documentary Award’ through, The Hollywood Film Awards.

DiCaprio was named International Messenger of Peace on Climate Change by the United Nations, and he took it very seriously. He basically used the film to document things he learned about climate change.

These are some things he learned:

  1. He said people tune it out. It is difficult to accept that our way of life creates these devastating issues.
  2. We create extinction of animals with our pollution.
  3. Coal and natural gas power electricity, and create strip mining, deforestation, and pollute with spills of oil. All our current modes of transportation release carbon dioxide, which warms the planet. This in turn melts polar ice, which will flow into the sea, and elsewhere, and create floods, and damaging weather patterns. For example, hundreds of cubic kilometers of ice have melted and gone into the sea in Greenland. Greenland will disappear if this continues and parts of coastal cities like Miami will be under water as well.
  4. 20 years ago, the focus was on becoming more energy efficient, like using better light bulbs. Now, it is gone farther, and we need to do more.
  5. Miami started putting in electric pumps and building the streets higher, which is a project costing roughly $400 million- and it is projected to only buy them 40-50 years.
  6. The oil companies pay “experts” to insist climate change is not real because they would lose money if people stop using fossil fuels. They also donate a lot to politicians, making sure laws do not support laws to combat climate change.
  7. Electricity consumed by ONE single American at home is equal to usage of: 1.5 citizen of France, 2.2 of Japan, 2.6 of Germany, 5 of South Africa, 10 of China.
  8. Climate Change does not just change on land, but under the sea also. Like trees and forests, coral reefs help remove carbon dioxide from the environment, but they cannot cope with the massive amount of it we create with carbon emissions, so they are dying. We are killing our forests and coral reefs that create a stable environment to keep us breathing and alive.
  9. Certain products are worse for the environment than others. Palm oil, for example is a cheap oil and is in nearly everything. This particular industry devastates forests, and contributes to climate change.
  10. The Paris Climate Agreement is highlighted. After 25 years of talks, 195 Nations signed an agreement, pledging to keep emissions below a certain level, to reduce the risks and effects of climate change.
  11. The climate change will make sea levels rise and mean less food, as there will be less places to grow crops, and fights over land scarcity. Scarcity of clean water will be bad as well. Climate change does not just mean the temperature rises a bit. It will fall some places, which would devastate the ecosystems completely. It will create excessive amounts of rain and floods some places, but less than necessary rain elsewhere, and drought, and famine.
  12. We have to change our lifestyles or we are headed to disaster.

DiCaprio addressed the UN, and said “after 21 years of debates and conferences, it is time to declare no more talk, no more excuses, no more ten year studies, no more allowing the fossil fuel companies to manipulate and dictate the science and politics that affect our future. The World is now watching. You’ll either be lauded by the future perception, or vilified by them. You are the last best hope on Earth. We ask you to protect it, or we, and all living things we cherish are history.

The film listed solutions:

  1. Consume Differently.
  2. Vote for leaders who will fight climate change.

Discover your climate impact at:

Carbotax.org

Learn more about how to take action at:

BeforeTheFlood.com

Enjoy this eye-opening film.

Blessed Be!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Witch & Popcorn

April, 2019

Bright Blessings, viewers!!!!

I am addicted to film, but I am also crazy for documentaries, and travel videos.

My husband and I are addicted to Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, and I think you should be as well.

Here is a sample of how great this show is!

Anthony was an eccentric chef who could not be still, and was always on the go. He was also an intellectual, a writer, an incredible host, a bit of a cynic, and a bleeding-heart Liberal. Thank goodness!

His career as a writer, journalist, film presence, and traveler took him all over the world. Not only did he go to sample the ethnocentric foods of all Nations, but he went to meet the people.

He sat, visited, ate, and enjoyed life with people from diverse backgrounds. He sat with the rich and the poor, the young and old, the famous, and the untouchables. He never refused hospitality, and never criticized a meal. He was always respectful of local customs, and always willing to learn, and adapt. He could talk to anybody, and people fell instantly in love with him.

He was always able to, through translators, bridge the gap between peoples, and connect with whoever he met.

Why he was not an ambassador for government, I will never know.

His show taught the lesson that all people are the same no matter what cultural things separate us, and that everybody deserves to be valued and heard.

This reveals the magic of how interconnected we all are, and how we are all citizens of the same earth no matter what.

This show speaks for itself, and the fact it was cut short by Anthony’s tragic death is beyond a travesty.

It’s currently streaming on Netflix.

Watch this show, and learn about other people. See how much we share in common, no matter what our differences.

Blessed Be.

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Witch & Popcorn

March, 2019

Dracula

This month, I reviewed Dracula, the original one starring Bela Lugosi.

OH MY!!!!!

They just don’t make movies like they used to!

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve found the divine Bela Lugosi to be positively magnificent, but I have never sat and watched the entire original Dracula he made famous.

I waited too long, and if you have not seen it, don’t wait any longer.

Take a look at the trailer of what we have been missing!

Universal has released a set of Blu-Rays’s called “Dracula: Complete Legacy Collection”, and it has six films, including the 1931 Dracula with Bela. The films were made from 1931-1948, and include Dracula, Dracula’s Daughter, Son of Dracula, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, and the very funny Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

I will watch the rest of the films this week, but I have watched plenty of horrors from this era.

The charm of old Hollywood is a feast for the eyes, and the drama of more theatrical type performances actors in movies used to do makes the stories more fantastical.

Bela Lugosi played Dracula so well, people said he WAS the immortal Dracula. Far from it, he was said to be shy in America because of his heavy European accent- YES, it was real! And he suffered from severe sciatica, which led to his reliance on prescription painkillers to the point of addiction. In his acting, he transcended his suffering to become larger than life, and to set the standard for the sexy undead blood drinker who made men, women, and future generations scream in terror and swoon with admiration.

The film is an adaption of Bram Stokers horror novel, Dracula and in the film, it is set in the gorgeous 1930’s, complete with silk, damask, oversized furniture bedecked with art deco finery, and spectacular makeup and clothes.

The film is wildly entertaining, but holds magical truths!

The story begins with the ill fated Renfield’s trip to Transylvania for a business deal with Dracula, who strides into the filthy, ramshackle set of Castle Dracula, and lights it up like the Prince of Darkness he was. We all know Dracula completely destroys poor Renfield, played like nobody else could by Dwight Frye, who ironically died young, himself.

Frye, a veteran actor, starring in more than 60 films in his 44 years, is as big a presence on screen as Lugosi, and really set the standard for Renfield in future Dracula productions. This is also a testament to not only exquisite character development, and passionate acting, but astoundingly good makeup. Frye’s Renfield is initially what would have been called a “dandy” back in that day, and is reduced by Dracula into a Smeagel like writhing creature who more resembles a maimed, maniacal worm than anything else. Frye plays both aspects of Renfield to the max.

All of the acting is equally as good as Frye’s and Lugosi’s, but it is the character of Van Helsing I want to explore in depth, because it is he who exemplifies the occult truths the film expresses.

Of course, we know vampires ARE real, but are not undead blood suckers. Some are simple energy workers who can be very helpful and pleasant, and others may even be completely unconscious of the fact they are vampires, and are a downright pain in the ass. The pain in the ass folk are the ones who drain people’s energy and we might be stuck sharing an office or even a home with them. Some do this on purpose, however. Many of us have at least one family member we could put in this category. Unfortunately.

The film, however portrays the vampire of folklore, which is nothing like the real vampires who live among us. Dracula is dead and needs the blood of the living to survive. He has to sleep in the dirt he was buried in, hates crucifixes and wolfsbane, turns into a bat, and REALLY digs chicks. He keeps wolves for company, and refers to them as “children of the night” and drops the famous quotes like “The blood is the life”.

The wise Professor Van Helsing , who is called in when medicine cannot explain what has killed the lovely Lucy and is sickening her beloved friend Mina, is said to “knows as much about obscure diseases as anyone in the world” in Bram Stokers Novel. Van Helsing also studied other obscure topics, and as luck would have it, vampires happened to be one of those topics. While he was educated in all modern topics, he knew enough not to discard knowledge of the supernatural, most especially when he observed it himself.

As witches, we KNOW people used to be accused of doing impossible things like flying on brooms, and having sex with the biblical devil, and we know the dangers of such uneducated thinking. But we also know how quick many are to dismiss established occult truth such as the ability to move energy, and the harm that can result by the activity of malevolent spirits.

This truth is revealed by Van Helsing in the film when he says, “The strength of the vampire is that people will not believe in him.” How many people have insisted that a curse will not work on you if you do not believe in the power of the curse? Good luck with that. A practitioner proficient in curses will not leave any clue they have cursed you. It is like saying you believe you will not catch a disease, so it is therefore impossible to. I am reminded of a very old preacher who told me he never got sick because he believed in Jesus- instead of being thankful he had a strong immune system, that is.

I am also reminded of another individual. I used to have a neighbor from Haiti, who I asked about Voodoo, and he almost shit a brick in fear talking about how awful he felt Voodoo was. He said that he, and many others converted to Xtianity to escape Voodoo and the Voodoo curses, which he claimed Jesus protected against. I would hear the drumming and chanting prayers he did with friends calling Jesus regularly. Well, as some know, I have a relationship with Papa Legba. Papa always let me know he did NOT like my neighbor. One night, said neighbor tore his entire apartment apart, throwing everything all over the place, and even ripping the kitchen cabinets off the walls. The neighbor on the other side of him said he heard the man arguing with somebody else- but police said there was nobody else in the apartment. I was told there had been one hell of a fight. The neighbor disappeared without a trace, and family came around looking for him for weeks following the incident. Jesus did not stave off whatever magic had been flung at him. And no, it was not just him being bonkers- I asked Papa.

Belief does not equal reality, but it does create our perception of reality, and Van Helsing knew Dracula used the fact modern people did not believe in vampires to take as many victims as he wanted.

Van Helsing was able to look beneath Dracula’s glamour, a very powerful magical weapon. Dracula’s glamour just might have worked had he not become overly confident, and gone into Mina’s home, because that is where it was discovered he did not show up in the mirror, starting Van Helsing’s quest to kill Dracula.

Two lessons to us as witches come through this. Keep your glamour strong, and don’t get sloppy. Also, learn to see beneath other people’s glamour. Dracula had portrayed himself as a charming, handsome Count from another land. He was very well spoken, friendly, and nobody would have seen him as a threat. Even within our metaphysical circles and public communities, people whose glamour is undetected by the masses allows them a way in to manipulate, and cause harm. Be the witch who speaks up and expresses something is not right, as Van Helsing was, and protect your community.

Beyond being a fantastic film adaption of a fantastic classic horror novel, this film reminds us that magic and the occult are not obsolete and it is very important to be well versed in modern mundane knowledge as well as educated about the hidden, the occult. It also reminds us that as those who are aware of the role spirits, and energy plays in our everyday life, to keep our eyes, ears, and sixth senses open to when something is just not right.

Don’t take my word for it! Go watch this great film!

Happy Viewing!

Blessed Be!

Dracula: Complete Legacy Collection on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Witch & Popcorn

February, 2019

Bright Blessings film lovers!

I’m reviewing a new show instead of a movie this time.

This show has made quite a stir on Netflix this week, and people are either celebrating it, or upset by the hosts suggestions. There seems to be no happy medium response. People either love this or hate it.

I watched a few Episodes of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

Let me begin by saying I freaking LOVE this!

Smart business lady Marie Kondo hails from beautiful Japan, where she single-handedly started an organizing business based on clean, minimal living, only owning things you get a lot of use out of, and teaching a lifestyle of keeping things neat, in their place, and clean.

While I’m not going to have 30 books or less, as she recommends, nor will I fold every article of clothing I own into tidy origami-like parcels, as a witch, I appreciate her attitude, and approach.

The first thing Marie does when she walks into a house, after meeting the homeowners, is ask permission to “get acquainted with” the house. She then kneels, and looks to be meditating, and soaking in the home’s vibes.

If that isn’t magical practice, I don’t know what is.

The next thing she has the homeowners do is take stock of every item they own, and purge as much as possible. There is a lot of tears, a bit of tantruming at times, and a lot of resistance from some homeowners. They want an immaculately clean home, but they want it stocked full of junk, and things they squirreled away for years they forgot all about. In the end, the clients always say their whole lives are changed by the purge, reorganizing, and change to a lifestyle of cleanliness and simplification.

It’s just throwing things out, and reorganizing, right?

Well, it’s more than that.

Getting rid of things that are not useful, and are eating up space that could be better used otherwise frees up not only the space itself, but the energy. Every item we use, touch, and keep retains energy and memories. While some of us are consciously aware of all that, some people are not, but they still are not immune to the effects.

Some call clutter visual noise, but have you ever had a toxic roommate or live in lover and once they and all their junk was gone, you felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from your home and heart? Things hold energy.

The thing I saw in common of all the clients in the episodes I watched was they grumbled their house was not big enough- and stated they needed more storage space, but Marie knew better. She knew they had too much stuff!

She made them pile their clothes on top of the bed, and thin out as many clothes as possible before they did anything else. I think she gave them a week to do all of that. People had entirely forgotten about all of the clothes they owned. They said they never even liked certain articles of clothing, and seeing the mountain of clothes horrified them. One client remarked she was ashamed of herself for being so greedy about clothing when there are people who don’t have hardly any clothes.

Marie, in magical fashion, had people hold each belonging and only keep what “sparked joy”. She expected them to feel the vibes off things and keep only the things that had good vibes. Basic energy 101! She then told them to thank the object for allowing them to use it before discarding.

The process took forever with some people, but she taught them energy and appreciation for objects.

Magic!

Marie might not identify as a witch, but she knows about moving energy and all about psychology. The initial shock of the mountain of clothes was all she needed to get people’s attention and wake them up.

I’m not saying there was no pissing and moaning from some clients after the realization. I’m saying it was the stab in the rear end they all needed to see they had done this, and they needed to dig their way out. One client aggravated me with her whining so much, I had to watch that episode over the course of two days, but in the end she did a great job and got with the program.

Our homes are supposed to be our sanctuaries, not places that exhaust us. When we junk up our homes, we are constantly swamped in the sea of trash, and it soaks into our bodies, minds, and spirits.

Purging helps us focus on what we want and need in our homes so we can control the focus of energy and the feel of the home.

I always wonder why so many people cannot understand this.

I am reminded of my first marriage. My ex husband collected junk- or just shoved everything in drawers and never bothered to take care of, or clean anything. He owned empty cardboard boxes from things he no longer owned, and even empty plastic bags that had been in the boxes he no longer had from things he also no longer had. He owned expired turtle wax and tried to fight to keep it. He had hundreds of empty wire hangers from dry cleaners in the trunk of his car which he refused to part with, and he cried when I threw them out. He owned broken golf tees he stated had no sentimental value, and he even had undeveloped photo film he said he had no plans to ever develop, but wanted to keep- because it was HIS. He had a three bedroom, two bath house with a full basement, and it was not large enough to house all of his junk and collection of thousands of books, CD’s, Cassette Tapes, eight track tapes, VCR tapes, and DVDs- a collection that was steadily growing. He did not understand that libraries are good places to nab media and books, and less is more. He owned books that were molded, having been rotting in the damp basement for over a decade, and had books he had never read, but continued to buy more.

His was an extreme case, and his inability to change his compulsive shopping and accumulating damaged our relationship. We were not married long enough for me to find out what his psychiatric issues were. I do not miss living with him. He found somebody who was okay with his lifestyle, and I am thankful he moved me out of the mess.

Getting out of that trash heap was a breath of fresh air for me. I can only imagine how awful people who have done this to themselves felt before Marie helped them.

On the show, Marie takes people who don’t show psychiatric problems. These just have a lot of unnecessary crap. They make excuses, and Marie does not buy it. She goes in every week for about a month, and teaches them how to clean out the whole house. By the time it is all done, the homeowners have done all she says, and my OCD is appeased.

I will say this show gives me appreciation for The Queer Eye. Somehow, the Fab Five manage to guide the people they are making over to NOT descend into self-pity, but they prod them to organization. I respect Marie’s philosophy that they homeowners will do their own organizing, and it serves to ensure they know how to keep it that way. There is just so much whining and complaining from some of the clients, you might want to slap them. They made the mess, they clean the mess, and Marie makes sure they do.

I am also appreciating the Hoarders shows, as the clients often are very open about their psychiatric issues that lead them to let their homes go to seed. The home is an outward manifestation of what is on the inside. And these organizing shows take the outside, use it to illustrate what is going wrong, and set the outside right first as a way to start inner work.

As magical practitioners, we know all too well that what we surround ourselves with influences us. If we are surrounded by repressed memories and buried pain, or even good memories, manifested by things we chose to keep although it is useless- we are working bad juju on ourselves.

Get rid of it.

Now.

Marie Kondo’s show might be viral right now, and she might be all the rage currently, but her approach, her attitude, and her techniques are old magical practice every witch can do without any spellwork.

Let’s just refer to this as space clearing on the mundane level, and it’s just as important as ritual banishing, and mundane house cleaning.

A good watch.

Happy Viewing.

Blessed Be!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Witch & Popcorn

January, 2019

Bright Blessings Film Lovers!

This month, I am reviewing Fullmetal Alchemist, a Japanese live action film based on the Manga books, of the same title, written by Hiromu Arakawa.

Here is the trailer for this film.

The film is all about magic, and science, breaking the rules, and the consequences of doing so.

The film follows the lives of brothers Ed and Al, beginning when they were small, and learning Alchemy on their own. Their mother dies unexpectedly, and they try to bring their mom back to life using the little skills they have learned. This was forbidden, and both boys knew this. It could not end well, but these were kids, and they wanted their mother back, so they disregarded the rules, and did the operation to bring, or “transmute” a human anyways.

The operation fails, it costs them both dearly, and they both spend years tying to get back what they lost due to the consequences. Al is taken away to a place called The Gate of Truth. Ed finds a way to go there to try and get him back, and is only able to bring back Al’s soul, and loses body parts in the process. He is told not to come back for Al until he has the fabled Philosopher’s Stone. Ed figures out how to use Alchemy to put Ed’s soul into a metal robot, and vows to find the Philosopher’s Stone and get both Ed and his own body parts back. A metal arm and leg are fashioned for Al, and he later becomes known as The Fullmetal Alchemist.

Fast forward years later, Al and Ed are professional Alchemists, working with the government, and Ed gets a lead about where to find The Philosopher’s Stone, but unfortunately, people keep telling him it doesn’t exist. Undeterred, and determined, he continues his search, which leads him to meet the people with the knowledge.

He discovers, however, he and his brother were not the ONLY ones transmuting both human bodies, and human souls, and the horrors Al and Ed discover almost destroys them, and all the people they hold dear. They discover The Philosopher’s Stone is not what they expected, and using it would be more than breaking rules. It would mean something terrible.

The film ends with the brothers making an unexpected decision, and a sequel is due out sometime in the future.

As practitioners of magic, we can identify with some of the points made in the film.

There is a time to break the rules, and a time to keep them. Magic is a practice of harmonizing with Nature. If doing something goes against the Natural Order of things, or is otherwise unethical, it should not be done.

It is unwise to do magic when you are grieving. Strong emotions interfere with the ability to reason, and acting on your emotions might cause you to do something you later regret.

Things are not always as they seem. Brothers Al and Ed discover this over and over in the film. From who they can trust, to what an item truly is, things seem to constantly change, and the brothers have to keep their wits about them, and pay close attention constantly. Belief does not equal or create Reality. It creates perception, and perception can be false. Magicians and Witches are experts at enchantment, and illusion. Be aware.

Sometimes, we have to listen to what people say when they are trying to warn us. At one point, a character tells Al, “Play with the Devil, and you’ll end up in Hell!”, and Al replies, “I’ve already been to Hell.” He did not realize he was being told to avoid the very thing he was driven to acquire. Had he listened, things would have been better.

All in all, this was a good film. I always love to see Manga brought to live action. They managed to maintain the flavor of Manga with the dramatic costumes, character acting, and special effects. The action scenes did not fail to please, and the sets were gorgeous.

It’s a good work of fiction to read or watch, and I recommend the film.

Happy Viewing!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Witch & Popcorn

December, 2018

 

May the Devil Take You

 

 

 

Bright Blessings, Movie lovers.

I had the pleasure of viewing one of the scariest horror’s I’ve seen since the original Exorcist.

This is an Indonesian film called “May the Devil Take You.”

If you scare easily, run like mad, and never watch this.

If you are interested, take a look at the trailer.

 

 

If you love a good scare, and want to sleep with all the lights on- IF you can sleep…you MUST see this.

The film begins showing what appears to be an encounter with a cunning woman, but turns out to be a man named Lesmana selling the souls of his wife and daughter so he can be successful.

Fast forward many years later, and Lesmana is laid up in the hospital. His wife has died, and he is remarried to a complete you-know-what.

As he lays in hospital, his wife and her kids have no idea whether he will survive or not, so they decide to try to coerce his daughter from his first marriage, Alfie into selling the house he had in her name. Note, Alfie is estranged from her father and feels he literally ditched her in favor of the step mom and her kids.

The tension between step mother and Alfie is immediately obvious, and within a few minutes, step mom has slapped Alfie with all her might in the face.

Maya, the step sister from hell, of course jumps to mom’s defense, and while there is a younger step sister, who is a complete angel, and kindly step brother, Alfie has her hands full dealing with the heartache of her father’s negligence, and the resentment she rightfully feels towards step mom and her brood.

Maya, who is not only every bit as big of a bitch as her mother is, is also extremely stupid. Lesmana, trying to keep the devil from coming to claim souls, has locked the spirits in the basement with religious papers, and ritual tools. Maya comes in, rips it all apart, and throws open the basement door. She simply did not believe in such “superstitions.” Everybody else had been eyeing the door suspiciously before backing away…

All hell breaks loose, literally, and the demons come for everybody.

Not only is the bloody torture fest highly entertaining, and chilling, but the film imparts a lesson.

Don’t fuck with nasty spirits. EVER.

A lot of Witches and Pagans will proudly proclaim “One man’s angel is another man’s demon.” Grimoires to summon this or that demon can be bought cheaply, and supplies to do such operations can be likewise bought, or made following explicit instructions in said grimoires. The famous stories of Crowley summoning spirits abound, and many people publicly proclaim they have demons. It is plain out stupid to assume that because you bought a book, you can command spirits. Furthermore, such emphasis is put on summoning, but very little emphasis on banishing is. When was the last time you saw exorcism classes offered?

Yes, it is easy to summon. Just because you CAN does not mean you SHOULD. Getting rid of said summoned spirit might be difficult, or impossible.

Lesmana thought he had a handle on things and could cheat the devil. His whole family paid the price right along with him. Nobody was spared although some lived to tell the tale.

Sometimes a demon is a demon, meaning evil ass spirit, not something misrepresented by the Abrahamic faiths, and it is out to harm anybody it can. While they can do nice things for you, there is always a price. It is never worth it.

This film is not only scary and entertaining, and imparts a good lesson, but it contrasts those who call beliefs in spirits “superstitions”, and those who believe. The people in the film who did not believe in the power of spirits made grave mistakes, and continued to do so even after they realized spirits were real. Those who believed were immediately able to make better decisions, and made out better in the end.

Pride was portrayed as downfall, and humility a virtue. Alfie was the heroine from start to finish, and she was a shining example of self-reliance balanced perfectly with understanding of her own smallness as a simple human being.

If you decide to watch this, plan to sleep either with somebody else or your pets. Leave a nightlight on, and double-check all your locks. The sound on this was so realistic, I was cutting it off to check everything often because it sounded like the house was falling apart around me.

I mean, this movie was GOOD.

Enjoy this film.

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Art Video

November, 2018

Swedish Petroglyphs

 

 

Sweden has an abundance of mysterious petroglyphs. The Swedish word for petroglyphs is “hällristningar”. This refers to figures and shapes carved in rock surfaces. Most of these images are pre-historic in origin.

Scandinavia has a very large concentration of rock art, created around c. 9000 (the first century BCE). There are about 30,000 registered sites (but new sites are being discovered all the time). Vivid interpretations have been attempted, based on Old Norse beliefs and Sami ethnography.

In truth we do not know until today what their purpose or meaning really was. Do they tell stories? Were they a backdrop for community rituals and ceremony?

This video offers an introduction and some key information followed by shamanic drumming inviting people to meditate on (or journey into) five photographs of Swedish Petroglyphs.

I invite you to share your experiences in the comments section for this video. Who knows, this might just give us some powerful (if non-scientific) clues to the lives of the Bronze Age inhabitants of Scandinavia!

I look forward to reading your responses!

***

About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of shamanism and sacred art. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon in 2016 and her second book Sacred art: A Hollow Bone for Spirit (Where art Meets Shamanism) will be published in March 2019.  She was a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit in both 2016 and 2017 and is a presenter on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US. She is currently in the editing stages of her third book “Medicine of the Imagination” and has started her fourth book “Evolving Gods: The Sacred Marriage of Tradition and Innovation”

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk  (website)

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/  (blog)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=imelda+almqvist

(YouTube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)

Natural Born Shamans – A Spiritual Toolkit for Life: Using Shamanism Creatively with Young People of All Ages on Amazon

Witch & Popcorn

November, 2018

Just in time for Halloween and the love of all thinks spooky, Netflix released a dazzling supernatural horror from Spain called Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil. Watch the trailer here at this link below:

While the film is a very good watch, beyond that, it’s based on an old folktale, which in one form or another, has been around for thousands of years. The story is told many ways, but basically, a cunning Blacksmith is screwed over by the devil upon making a pact- and the Blacksmith figures out how to stick it to the old devil, and get out of the pact.

Set in 1800’s Basque region of Spain, the tale unfolds about the mysterious Blacksmith named Patxi. The village folk speak horrors about him, telling their children stories about him as if he’s a child eating boogie man. He doesn’t do much to dispel these rumors, as he has his property barricaded off, and he attacks anybody who comes near. The townsfolk say the devil lives there.

But the story is deeper than that. He had struck a deal with the devil to get home to see his wife during the war, only to discover things were not as they left them. Heart wrenching tragedy follows, and despite the fact the devil was dishonest on his end of the bargain, he sends a demon to collect Patxi’s soul.

Hilariously, the demon is no match for the bitter blacksmith, and all hell breaks loose both on earth, and later IN hell, as the mighty blacksmith seeks revenge and justice from the devil, himself.

This is one of the best made modern takes on an ancient tale I’ve seen in quite a while. Everything about this is a feast for the senses. The grisly, grimy Blacksmith’s squalid home is a stark contrast from the splendor of hell. The morbidly shabby hutlike shacks the townsfolk live in are offset by the magnificence of the forest. The children are filthy, skinny, and bruised and bloodied. In contrast to this, the beautifully animalistic demon is a yummy shade of licorice red, and covered in glitter! Crippling age is offset with youthful innocence. The use of severe extremes and striking contrasts provide extra shock, and communicate the level of misery the characters in the film are crushed under.

Beyond all of this, the film communicates the ignorance of uneducated society, and how bored small-minded people demonize the innocent. The old Pagan superstitions and Christian extremism combine with this ignorance to create a town of people easily controlled by the denizens of hell, and the voice of the so-called saving god is unheard.

A lesson is taught in this film through the fatal mistakes of Patxi. He was judged as a horrible human being, but he was actually a beautiful soul whose momentary lapse in judgement lead to the one event that he never forgave himself for. The village folk took this a step further and branded him untouchable for life. In the end, he is the only person from his town who has the strength to protect life.

Another lesson is one that Pagans speak of quite often. We reject the concept of beings that are all good or all evil. The demon sent to collect Patxi’s soul winds up defying hell and helping to save the day. Many of my Pagan kin say one man’s angel is another’s demon, and even demons can do things that help people.

I won’t add any more spoilers. Watch it for yourself. You don’t want to miss this wonderful film.

Happy viewing!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Witch & Popcorn

October, 2018

American Mystic

I was gifted a copy of American Mystic, and I am so glad. Here is the trailer.

Released in 2010, it is an intimate portrait of three non- mainstream devotees. One is Pagan, one is a Lakota Sundancer, and one is an Xtian Spiritualist.

The stories of each person’s faith/path are explored from their gatherings to their personal mundane home life, and their individual personal practices.

Chuck, the Sundancer, welcomes the crew into the parts of the ceremony, teaching, and explaining different things that go into it. He shows years worth of scars gotten during Sundances, and he and friends open their hearts, and sacred spaces to anybody who wants to learn and understand.

Of course, Morpheus Ravenna, the Pagan is the one who most resonated with me. She welcomed the crew into her home and into her rituals. She sang, shared writings, and showed her amazing property where she has a permanent Pagan sanctuary set up. She can be found on Facebook at this link.

Kublai is a young New York Christian Spiritualist who is very involved in his community, and the film finds him working to develop his gifts to work towards helping others. Xtian Spiritualism, a non mainstream denomination, believes in the power of faith healing, angles, and psychic gifts. In the film, many mediums and clergy persons in Kublai’s community welcome the crew to film their meetings and classes.

It’s hard to keep a dry eye watching the devotion of these three beautiful souls, and their openness to share is exactly what we need today. The more people know about those who are perceived as different, the closer we can move towards full acceptance despite differences.

All around, this is a very moving and beautiful film.

 

American Mystic

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Witch & Popcorn

September, 2018

Bright Blessings, film lovers!

This month, I decided to review another classic film- Steel Magnolias.

Some have not seen it, as it’s set in the 1980’s in Louisiana. The film is all about motherhood, the cycle of life, death, and birth, and the power of women to support one another no matter what. I have never met anybody who did not bawl like a baby while watching this film, and it is one of the finest films ever made.

It’s filled with big hair, snark, shade, charm, love, and laughs. You will fall in love with the Steel Magnolias- delicate like a flower, and as strong as steel!

Here is the link to a trailer you can watch:

The story follows the lives of lady friends who gather at the local beauty salon, ran by Truvy, played by the divine Dolly Parton. While it appears to be the story of Shelby, played by Julia Roberts, it turns out, it’s more about her mother, M’Lynn, played by Sally Field. She is the main representation of motherhood in this film, and she plays a mother who raises her daughter Shelby, helping with Shelby’s health issues, even after Shelby marries, moves out, and has a child of her own. Unfortunately, Shelby’s body could not handle the pregnancy, and she eventually dies even after exhaustive efforts to save her. M’Lynn even gives Shelby one of her own kidneys.

What is the mother goddess if not life giving? Whose body do we live upon, and it is the fruit of whose body that feeds us? Whose waters quench our thirst, and to whose body do we return when we die? Who takes care of our children after we are no longer alive to do so, continuing to nourish them?

The great mother goddess! M’Lynn is the perfect embodiment of the lifegiving, healing aspect of the great mother.

Truvy, too represents that. She has her own issues, as her husband is struggling with a case of the blahs after being unemployed. She never gives up on him even when he holes up at the house, and won’t go anyplace. Her son, too has teenage attitude issues, and she still loves him in his rebelliousness. It turns out, her devotion to them was not misplaced, and her believing in them shows by the end of the film, the men in Truvy’s life are men who make life better for everybody. They just needed the understanding and support while dealing with their problems. Thanks to Truvy, they came out if their struggles whole, and better than ever.

The eternal compassion and understanding of the great mother carries us. Truvy embodies this.

She further gives a second chance to the heartbroken Annelle, played by Darryl Hannah. Annelle is abandoned by her good-for-nothing husband who is on the lam from the law, and when she can’t rub two nickels together, Truvy gives her a job, and a chance at a new life. Her whole life seemed over before being taken in by Truvy, but like a phoenix rising from the ashes, everything begins again for Annelle, and she absolutely thrives.

Sometimes, the goddess takes a bad situation from us we have been holding onto, because we believe it is all we have. Once stripped of everything, we are given so much more than we ever imagined.

The comic duo of the film, Miss Clary and Miss Ouiser, played by Olympia Dukakis, and Shirley MacLaine bring the snark and shade, and keep everybody in stitches. The oldest ladies in the group, they are bound by adoptive sisterhood, and both jokingly verbally attack one another.

Initially, Ouiser is a miserable old hag who bitches constantly, and looks worse than she acts. Shelby plays matchmaker a second time in the film, this time bringing Ouiser back together with an old beau. Reluctant to give up her independence, Ouiser first INSISTS they are just friends, which is pure hogwash. Soonafter, Ousier becomes kinder, gentler, and significantly less irritable, and all because she is HAPPY. Clary remarks at one point, “Ouiser! You are in a good mood! Did you run over a small child on your way here?”

She was absent minded, careless, accident prone, and a pain to be around at times. She stressed over every little thing, and complained constantly. None of the ladies disowned Ouiser when she was at her worst. Truthfully, her worst was not THAT bad, but she WAS difficult to deal with.

The goddess in her wrathful form is only such for reason. She has a benevolent aspect as well, Ouiser shows both sides.

Like the goddesses destructive side can clear the way for the good to come, Ouiser’s dark irritability causes her to snap at Annelle and drag the truth of her situation out of her. Had Annelle not spilled the facts, the ladies would not have known to immediately band together to lift up Annelle in her struggles. Ouiser also shows the fact the goddess needs the love and companionship of others to be her best self. Her friends as well as her new beau embrace her eccentricities, and while they joke with her about it, reminding her she’s got that mean streak she needs to keep in check, they give her the love and support she needs to be her best so she can love and support others as well.

Clary is a rich older lady, and uses it to put herself in positions to benefit her community. She is a testament to the goddesses generosity, and like the goddess smiles upon her children, so did Clary.

There’s not things in the way of mysticism or lore in the film, but the magic of women channeling their inner goddesses to make their lives and the lives of their loved ones wonderful is the lesson this film has for us.

This film deals with the joys of new life through children, the pain of loss when they die, and the new hope new life brings.

Don’t take my word for how amazing this film is. See it for yourself.

Note- I am also aware there was a 2012 remake of it, and I think I have to nab a copy of that as well. It got multiple awards and got rave reviews!

Happy film viewing.

Blessed Be!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Next »