Ovomancy

They say you have to break a few eggs to make metaphorical breakfast foods, but I can’t seem to break any.

Well, this is just downright silly. I have a collection of my hens’ first eggs and I am loathe to crack any of them open. (My little chickadees hatched out of their own shells on Easter this past spring and have just become mature enough to lay. After the trauma of finding a slew of dead birds this summer, I have become very protective of my girlies. And, it seems, their eggs.) As is the case with first eggs, these are not very big. Just larger than the cherry tomatoes that bedeck my yard with color, their little green and blue egglettes are not nearly enough for foodstuffs.

Sookie, Diablo, Rex, Tina, Harriet, and Pico

Since I am teaching a course on divination this Fall,[1] I had decided to use the eggs for ovomancy. And now I can’t seem to do it.

Silly, right? I know I’ll get over it, but I’m having all of these thoughts – now that my (second-)favorite hen has begun crowing, I know I have a rooster out there. What if I crack open a grandchicken?

I know it’s very silly, but I think my (absolute-)favorite hen may be the only one laying. I saw her out there in the eggbox and collected her teensy deposit. She’s my baby. She and a sister were unwell as chicks and had to be handfed and nursed until one died and this one rallied. My greatest success in chickening thus far, this hen likes to meet me at the door and jump on my shoulder to be held. How am I supposed to crack her eggs?

Silly. Yes. We covered that. What if I use all of the eggs for divination and then my chickens don’t lay any more?

Even sillier. That’s like a Senator suggesting that women could control how and when they . . . never mind – that’s a different post altogether.

Totally nonsensical.

Well – – I had intended to write you a post about learning ovomancy. But, seeing as I am being very silly about my eggs, this may take a day or two. As of now, I haven’t learned anything.

What I have learned is two ways of potentially reading these eggs. One involves dropping the whites into boiling water and observing the patterns made by the solidifying albumen. The other involves watching the clouds formed in a glass after poking a pin hole into the small end of the egg and allowing the albumen to drip into water.

I have also learned a little bit of history. One story that is repeated over and again about oomancy (another word for ovomancy) is of Liva Drucilla, a Roman Empress who incubated an egg in her bosom while pregnant in order to divine the sex of her child. The story goes that when the chick hatched, it had “a beautiful cockscomb;” therefore she knew she would have a son. This story is even sillier than my anxieties about cracking my little-teeny-eggs. Firstly, all chicken eggs take twenty-one days to incubate. Always. Every time.

On the first day, you can sex a chick by looking at its wing pattern. I’m very good at this now. I consistently get the results exactly the opposite. For this reason, I have had hens named Diablo and Roosters named Harriet. You can also “vent-sex” a chicken. I’ve seen it done and would prefer to name all of my hens after the Steelers starting lineup, thanks all the same.

After about three weeks, you can begin to see differences in combs, but depending on the breed, this means little. After about four months, you can see spurs. However, my current roo, a cuckoomaran, has no spurs to speak of and has always “set” like a hen. If it weren’t for the crowing at 5AM, I’d swear he was a she. S’what I get for naming yt Lola, I suppose. My dad says that unless you are a “real pro” at it, you can confuse hens and roos up until the day they either lay or crow. (Even Dad thought Lola was a “purty hen,” btw. He’s thrilled that she’s not. It means Lola is taking a trip to North Alabama to live at The Big Bad Farm.)

My chickens aside, all of this takes three-ish months. Combs don’t begin to appear (in most breeds) with real definition until about seven to ten weeks in or so. What? Did Liva Drucilla walk around with an egg in her dress for three weeks, then keep a chick there for an additional ten? No. It’s a charming story. But no.

See? I over-rationalize everything. How am I supposed to lay my anxieties aside and gaze at the albumen of Steven’s eggs with any sense of seeing?[2]

Plus, like tasseomancy and (gulp) hepatomancy, ovomancy seems like it is going to be a very subjective method. And I’ve had a few things come up this past week that I’m afraid I’ll read into the thing.

There’s a certain someone who screwed me over in a big way a few years back. I don’t mean Real Housewives of East Central Alabama drama, I mean could-have-(wrongfully)-put-my-husband-in-prison-and-succeeded-in-separating-me-from-a-whole-section-of-my-family drama. It seems her Wyrd is coming in. The twine that she wound on her spindle made a shitty-shitty skein of cloth and it’s falling apart like crazy. I’ve waited for this day. And guess what? I’m not even enjoying the show. Honestly, I feel sad for her.

But, Karma’s got nothin’ on Wyrd – she’s a total beeyatch.

And one of her partners in crime? I saw her this weekend in a very unlikely scenario. On an impulse, I reached out and touched her (in a crowd). She looked at me like I’d gone green and sprouted wings. But – and this is a little more typical of The Bad Witch’s experience with divination,[3] just seeing things – I saw things that I really wish I could unsee.

And then there’s this other thing . . . and while I said I preferred to see it coming – I kinda don’t. Like a train-wreck.

So, I’m a little nervous about looking for anything at all.

When I’m looking for something specific, I’m much better with something I feel like I can control,[4] like I Ching, Tarot, Runecasting, and (thanks to Polyphanes for the introduction) Geomancy[5] – though I have had a Tarot reading or two throw me for a loop.

When I just let the information come? It comes. And right now, I donno if I wanna know. You know?

Breathe in, breathe out, Bad Witch.

And break an egg.

As ever, I’ll let you know how it goes.

B, Q, 93,

TBW

This post is part of a year-long project. Rowan Pendragon’s The Pagan Blog Project; “a way to spend a full year dedicating time each week very specifically to studying, reflecting, and sharing . . . .    The project consists of a single blog post each week posted on prompt that will focus on a letter of the alphabet” (http://paganblogproject/).

[1] Don’t mistake me. I am a teacher not a diviner. I have some basic skills and teach from a theoretical, ministerial perspective. I am sensitive, sure, but have little experience reading for other people and have only basic skills in “controlling” what I see and when I see it. And usually I am more reminiscent of Raven Simone than Edgar Cayce. Although, every once in a while I say something that makes folks a little goosefleshy. Completely on accident. Turns out I don’t filter information before regurgitating it – prolly as a result of not practicing enough.

But the theory behind it? That I can teach.

[2] Don’t worry, y’all. I’m overdramatizing to prove a point. I’ll be fine.

[3] Usually, like my mother, I will just start talking and say things that I didn’t know I knew until they come out’my mouth. When it happens to Momma, the hyper-Christian-terrified-of-being-demonic, she says, “Hmph, I guess my schizophrenia is acting up again.” As if it were preferable to be mentally ill than sensitive.

[4] Feel being the operative word.

[5] I think I now understand WTF I’m doing. Or not.

The Green Eyed Monster: Jealousy

If I hadn’t blown the whole thing years ago
I might not be alone

“Hey Jealousy” – The Gin Blossoms

I know I skipped my second “I” post for The Pagan Blog Project. Like I told you last week, I wrote one about Innocence and didn’t post it. Maybe. I was also pumped about J being for “Jesus,” as I love talking about The Christ from a mystical Pagan perspective. But, alas there’s a second J week coming up and perhaps my chicken coop will be finished by then and I’ll have more time for blogging. (It is turning into the most pretentiously prissy thing I’ve ever made – including the Bad Daughters.)

This week, I’ll keep it short.

J is for Jealousy.

I’ve mentioned covetousness before but jealousy is just a little different. Jealousy seems to me to be about feeling that there is a finite nature to the universe’s bounty. Those who experience jealousy seem to believe that if Person #1 has bounty, there is less bounty for Person #2. Therefore, Person #2 must struggle to “keep up with” the Person #1s of the world.

The trick is – there’s more than enough for everyone to have a big piece of cake. The universe is about multiplicity after all. Nothing in our existence is about subtraction. Creation always adds. In other words, there’s plenty to go around.

And the trick to that is – attraction. Just as there is plenty of good to go around, there is, likewise, plenty of shite to go around. We reap what we sow; what goes around comes around; we get what we give; like attracts like; we are what we eat. The law of attraction, no matter what your tradition, is that we draw back into ourselves that which is alike to that which we have cast out into the aether.

Crapola out = crapola in.

The wonder of this is that if we cast love and plenty into the aether, we are rebounded with love and plenty.

I’m not trying to be The Preachy Witch, but all I can surmise is that we should not waste our energy on jealousy. If we cast out jealousy, what do we get back? Is the universe then stingy with us in return? If so, I wouldn’t blame Her.

It’s a dang hard leaf to turn over: giving without the intention of receiving in return, I know. This runs against our instincts of preservation, I get it. Trusting in the laws of return feels a lot like losing control. However, letting go of control can be strangely empowering. Freely giving is also, ironically, the gateway to receiving.

It’s terrifying. But it doesn’t make it less true.

After all: Love is the Law, Love under Will.

Blessings, Quarks, and 93,

The Bad Witch

This post is part of a year-long project. Rowan Pendragon’s The Pagan Blog Project; “a way to spend a full year dedicating time each week very specifically to studying, reflecting, and sharing . . . .    The project consists of a single blog post each week posted on prompt that will focus on a letter of the alphabet.”