Ride the Pooka or The Perfect Martini

A pooka is a shapeshifter which prefers the shape of a black horse, although it may also appear as a rabbit, wolf, raven, fox or cat. You should always be on your guard when meeting an unknown creature with a black coat, especially if its eyes are green or red. Especially at parties. Remember those…

Halloween – the poet, the witch and the eel

Halloween is a night when witches, devils, and other mischief-making beings are all abroad on their baneful midnight errands. This year was no exception, at our dark shrouded hovel. But why am I talking about it, when I should be poeming about it? Up in old East London Things roam on claw’d feet We dare…

Killing the Corn-Spirit or Hello, Dolly!

In the village of Siddington in Cheshire in the shadow of the monolithic radio telescopes of Jodrell Bank, lives a gentleman with an unusual hobby. Raymond Rush makes corn dollies, and at Harvest Festival time decorates the local church with over 1,000 of these sinister pagan relics. In his workshop next to an old hand…

Mezcal Magic & The 400 Rabbits

Mayatl the ancient Zapotec goddess of mezcal is a beautiful woman with 40,000 breasts like agave pines. Living in the desert surrounded by shadowy holes in the ground, she flowered into being when lightning struck an agave plant – cooking, opening it and spilling the first mezcal across the sand. The holes are inhabited by…

Today the Gates of Hell open for Hungry Ghosts

The Hungry Ghost festival is held during the seventh month of the Chinese calendar, on the first night of the full Corn Moon. This is when the gates of Hell open and Hungry Ghosts are freed from the lower realms to roam the earth, where they seek food and amusement. These Ghosts are believed to…

Feline fine, sound familiar?

In Japan, they’ve invented a wine for cats, although Nyan Nyan Nouveau does not contain any alcohol, rather being a mixture of grape juice and catnip. My cat Cujo prefers Amaretto Sours, just replacing the amaretto with tuna brine, and swapping out shrimps for the lemon juice.   It’s his birthday today so I’m having…

Bunny Chow & Pinch Punch

Saying “Pinch punch” and spitefully poking somebody or just saying “White rabbits!” before midday on every 1st of the month is a popular folk tradition whose origins have become hazy with the passing of time. Almost nobody remembers now that the “pinch punch” was a symbolic blow to cast out evil spirits from people around…

Blood & Chocolate – The Ancient Sacrificial Drink of the Aztecs

Back, way back, way back in time, the ancient Aztecs used cacao seeds for spiritual and ceremonial purposes, as when sacrificial victims were given cacao drinks mixed with human blood in order to prepare them to have their heart cut out and held up, still beating, to the Sun.  For thousands of years cacao was…

A Flaming Fête With Flowers

Midsummer bonfire Flowers of flame flare out bright Live on as embers As the Sun passes over the Tropic of Cancer and hangs directly overhead, we celebrate with flowers which represent the Earth’s energies, water to represent the water sign Cancer, and fire which represents the Sun.   While the mystical hordes gather at Stonehenge…

Speaking with Spirits via EVP

 If I could talk to the other side, just imagine it? Chatting with a haunt in words ghostly  Imagine speaking to a shadow, discoursing with a daemon What a neat achievement it would be!  If we could talk to the other side, learn all their languages I’d take a PHD in EVP  I’d study poltergeist…

Trollï? Yes indeedï! Scandï, mostlï

“Look at them, troll mother said. Look at my sons! You won’t find more beautiful trolls on this side of the moon.” – Traditional  In these enlightened days of science and technology and that, most people associate trolls with spiteful and/or mischievous people who anonymously trouble online folk. Hiding under a bridge of secret identity,…

Suitable refreshment for Walpurgis Night according to Comrade Bulgakov

“We know that our forefathers very generally kept the beginning of May as a great festival, and it is still regarded as the trysting time of witches – i.e. once of wise-women and fays; who can doubt that heathen sacrifices blazed on that day?” – Jacob Grimm ‘Teutonic Mythology’  The ultimate Walpurgis Night party was…