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Knelt at the Bone-Mother’s Altar: The Grotesque Be...

Knelt at the Bone-Mother’s Altar: The Grotesque Beauty of a Witch’s Becoming

the hosue of twigs thot danielle dulsky olf woman witch verses of the wild witch

I wouldn’t bother her. Not today. Best keep those formalities tucked away in your pockets for those mannerly friends blessed with visions tamer than hers, for those prim and proper ones with no magick to speak of- bless their demure and beige-suited ways- who walk the earth bound by rigid rules and an unwavering understanding of next-steps and to-dos. She’s got a particular heathen rebellion in her blood that won’t be ignored, you see, and there’s a new ache in the sky that’s pulling her northward, toward the wilds of the green-dwellers, the crow-women, and those faceless, lightning children.

the hosue of twigs thot danielle dulsky olf woman witch verses of the wild witch

Oh, you’d like to know what she’s after, would you?

She dreamt of those old, boar-snouted, lusty gods last night, and she’s woke with an insatiable craving for that heady brew of beauty, tree-speak, and a marrow-deep belonging to that ancient, mournful land of mist and stone. I wouldn’t wait up; those forbidden haunts will want to keep her until the moon is full, until she’s remembered how to hear the sparking seeds beneath the soil, until those dirt-in-the-eyes underworld maidens claw their way up through the moss, retching bloody pomegranate seeds and reminding her how to say “grandmother” in the language of snakes.

If I’m being honest, I’d say her distaste for illusion has swelled these last long years, and the only teachers she trusts are those with grey bark skin, unforgiving thorns, and deep, running roots. She’ll be kneeling at the feet of no one except that crusty, long-fanged blackthorn tree she calls the Bone-Mother, and she’ll be tending that humble milk-and-blood altar she built beneath her lowest branches until she proves herself worthy of that hag-tree’s best stories, until the jolly junipers and shaggy pines nod in approval and grant her just one tale of wild queens and their devoted lovers, of long-forgotten circles of slow-brewing sorceresses who harbor the patience of crones and the passion of hunters beneath their robes.

She’s going to let that land have its way with her. She’s going to strip herself bare of the weight of winter’s ceremonies and wait bare-breasted for her horned beloved. Those wilds will become her house, and she won’t be back until there’s nothing but pagan poetry, faery nectar, and wolf-howls spilling from her tongue, until the trees have told their tales and her bones have since twisted, thinned, and split at the end like the branch-and-twig fingers of oaks and the veiny-root limbs of baby willows.

She won’t return until she’s changed, is what I’m saying, and only the most feckless soul would dare interrupt the grotesque beauty of a Witch’s becoming.

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Danielle is a heathen visionary, Aquarian mischief-maker, and word-witch. The author of Woman Most Wild and The Holy Wild., she teaches internationally and has facilitated circles, embodiment trainings, communal spell-work, and seasonal rituals since 2007. She is the founder of The Hag School, the lead teacher for the Flame-Tender Teacher Training, and believes in the emerging power of wild collectives and sudden circles of curious dreamers, cunning witches, and rebellious artists in healing our ailing world. As an Irish-American, Danielle’s witchcraft is deeply rooted in Celtic philosophy and Irish mythology. She believes fervently in the role of ancestral healing, embodiment, and animism in fracturing the longstanding systems supporting white-body supremacy and environmental unconsciousness, is committed to centering the voices and teachings of POC and LGBTQIA+ folks in her work as founder of Living Mandala, LLC and The Hag School and supports organizations and initiatives that do the same. Parent to two beloved wildlings and partner to a potter, Danielle fills her world with nature, family, and intentional awe. Find her praying under pine trees, wandering through the haunted places, and whispering to her grandmothers’ ghosts.
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Danielle is a heathen visionary, Aquarian mischief-maker, and word-witch. The author of Woman Most Wild and The Holy Wild., she teaches internationally and has facilitated circles, embodiment trainings, communal spell-work, and seasonal rituals since 2007. She is the founder of The Hag School, the lead teacher for the Flame-Tender Teacher Training, and believes in the emerging power of wild collectives and sudden circles of curious dreamers, cunning witches, and rebellious artists in healing our ailing world. As an Irish-American, Danielle’s witchcraft is deeply rooted in Celtic philosophy and Irish mythology. She believes fervently in the role of ancestral healing, embodiment, and animism in fracturing the longstanding systems supporting white-body supremacy and environmental unconsciousness, is committed to centering the voices and teachings of POC and LGBTQIA+ folks in her work as founder of Living Mandala, LLC and The Hag School and supports organizations and initiatives that do the same. Parent to two beloved wildlings and partner to a potter, Danielle fills her world with nature, family, and intentional awe. Find her praying under pine trees, wandering through the haunted places, and whispering to her grandmothers’ ghosts.

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