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Devil’s Dozen by Gemma Gary (questions)


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#1 nellopea

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:16 AM

I know this book came out some time ago, but I’m just now reading it.  My very small coven has agreed to work each rite within the book together but we’re running into some geographical issues. Gemma Gary is in Cornwall, where things like holy wells and churchyards exist, and they simply don’t where I live in the DFW area of north Texas. We’ve done the first rite in the book and we’re preparing for the second one, a dedication and initiation rite that is worked in a churchyard. As I said, there aren’t many churches with graveyards near us, to my knowledge, and although there are many forgotten cemeteries in rural areas within 100 miles of us, we don’t wish to be arrested or shot at. The rite is worked at night too, which wouldn’t bother us if we weren’t trespassing. 

 

We could just do this one in our usual ritual spot, indoors or outdoors, but we do like a bit of theatre and would love to find an appropriate place.

 

Has anyone else done the rites in Devil’s Dozen? Any ideas for doing this particular rite without going to jail? And just in general, how do you work around landscape issues?


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#2 Onyx

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 07:26 PM

Can you describe the ritual to us? I have not read the book.
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#3 Onyx

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 07:34 PM

I just had a quick look at the description of the book on amazon. It does sound very interesting indeed. Hopefully, some other site members have read it.
Good Luck achieving your goals.

Edited by Onyx, 12 November 2019 - 07:34 PM.

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#4 nellopea

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 12:25 AM

Can you describe the ritual to us? I have not read the book...

Here’s a quick description of the 2nd rite in the book. It’s in a section titled Under the Horns and it’s a dedication and initiation rite to the ‘Old One.’  It requires you to find a churchyard (church with graveyard onsite, like typical U.K. village churches) with an entry gate. The rite is performed at midnight on a full moon, and she suggests a rainy or foggy night when few people would be out. She posits that a place where worship, prayer, religious rites and death rites take place, would be rife with spirits, and is considered a liminal space. 

 

In this initiation, a Magistre dressed in imitation of the Old One, would preside over the initiate(s), there’s a tool consecration, a marking of witches, and a backwards circumambulation, and a repeated recitation of words of dedication. I don’t do it justice, but it’s very beautifully written, as all of her work is, and we’d like to do the rite as written, but it just isn’t a good idea. There’s nudity, trespassing, what would appear to anyone not familiar with this kind of stuff as freaky devil worship, and just a general aura of weirdness, all out in the open. 

 

I spoke to my coven co-leader this afternoon and we might’ve come up with a passable (but not very satisfying) alternative for now. We do have an outside spot to work in at the UU where we have our monthly meetings. (We’re not CUUPS, I swear!) and there’s a field onsite where we can do all of this. There is no graveyard on the property, so we thought that we could use graveyard dirt from my collection of odd witch things and use that with holy water to create our own version of a liminal space. We know it isn’t a great solution, but we’re committed to doing all of these rites. 

 

I highly recommend the book. The rites are the only ones I’ve ever wanted to try to do as written. I’ve always written my own, borrowing from here and there, but these are the kind of witchcraft that I dreamed about when I was a 14 or 15 year old girl. 


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