Tag Archives: witchcraft

175 – Elves: More Than Just Santa’s Little Helpers

When most people think about elves in the modern day, they either think about Legolas in The Lord of the Rings or they think about the short little fairy like creatures with Mr. Spock ears that make toys for Santa Claus.

elves
I’m a sexy elf.
elves
I am not a sexy elf.

Now, Santa’s Workshop and the elves that build his toys is a creation of mid-Nineteenth Century magazines, but the history of elves goes a lot deeper than just working overtime at the North Pole.

In this episode, we talk about where Santa’s helpers came from historically, but we also explore the millennia-old legends of elves, how Christian missionaries turned them into Satan’s little helpers (not a typo!) and how these nature spirits might still just be running around Iceland. In fact, in Iceland there’s The Elf School which teaches their history on the island and an Elf Whisperer who will have you over for tea with leaves grown by her little friends!

elves
These Icelandic elves are ready to haunt your dreams

For this week’s song, we took a poem that was written anonymously in 1857 for Harper’s Weekly and put some music to it. There just aren’t enough Christmas songs that talk about Santa’s elves. Since this poem was one of the first documents of St. Nick’s sweatshop, we are excited to be the first ones to immortalize it in song! Here is Sunspot with “The Wonders of Santa Claus”.

Beyond the ocean many a mile,
And many a year ago,
There lived a queer old man
In a wonderful house of snow;
And every little boy and girl,
As Christmas Eves arrive,
No doubt are overjoyed to hear,
The old man’s still alive.

In his house upon a hill,
And almost out of sight,
He keeps his many elves at work,
working with all their might,
To make a million pretty things,
Cakes, sugar-plums, and toys,
To fill the stockings, hung up
By the little girls and boys.

It would be capital for sure,
to glimpse his wondrous shop;
But when he hears a stranger he
Orders the elves to stop;
And the house, and work, and workmen all
just take a little twist,
just when you think they that are there,
They’re off in a frosty mist.

In his house upon a hill,
And almost out of sight,
He keeps his many elves at work,
working with all their might,
To make a million pretty things,
Cakes, sugar-plums, and toys,
To fill the stockings, hung up
By the little girls and boys.

It were an endless task to tell,
The length his list extends,
Of curious gifts the queer old man
Prepares for Christmas friends.
You might be guessing who he is,
And the country whence he came.
Why, he was born in Turkey,
And St. Nicholas is his name.

In his house upon a hill,
And almost out of sight,
He keeps his many elves at work,
working with all their might,
To make a million pretty things,
Cakes, sugar-plums, and toys,
To fill the stockings, hung up
By the little girls and boys.

171 – Darkest Hour: The Paranormal Life of Winston Churchill

It’s getting near the  end of the year, so that means it’s  Oscar-bait time and one of the performances getting great reviews this season is Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. Of course, Gary Oldman isn’t afraid of a radical transformation (just see his work as a computer-generated dwarf in the movie Tiptoes) and the skinny Oldman gets out the fat suit to play the more squat Sir Winston. The movie looks good and I’m a sucker for World War II flicks, especially set during the Blitz .

While we all know Churchill from his amazing speeches and his steadfastness in the face of the Nazi threat, he also had plenty of supernatural experiences as well.

In this episode we talk about

So, there’s plenty of stories about the paranormal life of Winston Churchill, but as the “Last Lion” of the British Empire, he was a man very much of his time with an aura of greatness that proceeds him as almost no other leader of the Twentieth Century. He was a great author, orator, leader, and politician and helped shape our world.

We mention him in our song “No Place Like Home” because it’s that greatness that this song is looking for, the idea that you have to run away to find your purpose because you’ll never find it where you grew up. But we don’t always get to choose where we are most needed, where we are most valuable. Churchill was perfectly suited to his time and his place, but even when it doesn’t feel like it, aren’t we all exactly where we are supposed to be?

I was looking for any kind of way out,
I’ve been planning my escape since the day that I was born,
I took a map, threw a dart, and hit a target.
Anywhere but here was a better place to be for me.I am the puzzle that is missing lots of pieces,
I am  the paint by numbers that don’t all add up.
I am the Christmas gift with batteries not included,
I am the greatest book you ever read whose ending sucks.I said that I was coming back as a big shot,
when I found more of my kind,
I promised I would have a laugh at the townies,
the poor bastards left behind.I left town like a prison break,
Anywhere was better than this place,
I thought I was a rolling stone,
When I went out to the Twilight Zone,
But in the end there’s no place like home.There must be some kind of error in the geography,
I’ll never grow old in this locality,
I’m Buck in the 25th century,
I felt like Dorothy, but don’t call me Dorothy.
I always felt like I belonged in the 70s.
or with Churchill or even DaVinci,
but the further I run from this proximity,
The bigger the hole gets inside of me.

I’m still the puzzle that is missing lots of pieces,
but I’m not lonely anymore.
We’re all expatriates confused by our coordinates,
The cosmic refugees who washed up on this shore.

I left town like a prison break,
Anywhere was better than this place,
I thought I was a rolling stone,
When I went out to the Twilight Zone,
I left town like a prison break,
Anywhere was better than this place,
I thought I was a rolling stone,
When I went out to the Twilight Zone,
But in the end there’s no place like home.
No place like home.
No place like home.
No place like home.

P.S. – Here’s the awesome map of UFO sightings we talk about in the episode from our friend, John. UFO sightings in Wisconsin broken down by city!

141 – The World of Wicca: Selena Fox and The Witches of Circle Sanctuary

With Beltane (May Day) on the horizon, we thought it was the perfect time to interview Wisconsin’s favorite Witch, Selena Fox. Selena is a Wiccan priestess who has been performing public Pagan rituals  since the early 1970s and she is the leader of the Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve in southwest Wisconsin (geologically known as the Driftless Region).

selena fox circle sanctuary
Selena leads a ceremony as you can see Allison watching on

Selena’s work on providing support for the Pagan and Wiccan religious community in the United States has been recognized in TIME and People magazines and the Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve holds public events for the 8 big Earth-based religious holidays. For this episode we concentrate on Beltane, where one of the parts of the celebration is the famous Maypole!

Earth-based religions like Wicca are all about getting back in touch with nature. They connect with their spirituality by connecting with the outdoors. They find their power in the relationship between all things, everything has a spirit from the trees to the rocks to the water to the animals and as such, we can find commonalities with those spirits and each other. Their universe is much more than a single God watching over us, it’s an ecosystem, a greater whole of energy and spirit that are bodies and souls are part of.

selena fox circle sanctuary beltane

One of the best parts of this episode is dispelling the myths that surround Wicca and Paganism. Because the god Pan features in plenty of Pagan imagery (you know, the flautist with the horns and the goat legs) and early Christians decided to use Pan to represent the Christian Devil, when you grow up with mainstream religions the ideas you get about paganism are from The 700 Club and the Tom Hanks Dan Aykroyd classic, Dragnet (and you should stop whatever you’re doing and watch the music video below, you will not be disappointed!)

Dispelling myths is also what this week’s song is about. We already talked about Walpurgisnacht in our Devil’s Night episode, but that’s the night before May Day where the witches were supposed to meet up in the German mountains and plot their wicked deeds for the year. Well, in this song, someone stumbles upon the witches’ gathering but realizes that it’s not wicked, they’re just having fun and like everybody, happy that Winter is over!

Click on these links if you’re like to learn more about  Selena Fox on Facebook or visit the official Circle Sanctuary calendar to see when the next public event is where you can join in the fun.

What did I see out behind the mountains
What did you see when you looked at the full moon?
Was it demon wings and hellfire in the sky
Did you see the witches flying for our doom?

The Devil’s whores are waiting for their master
Spring time is here and evil’s coming after

Walpurgisnacht
Is the night where Satan spreads his seed
Walpurgisnacht
Is the night that challenged my beliefs
Walpurgisnacht

They danced around the Maypole,
The earth made love to the sky
I waited and I prayed for mercy,
But old Scratch never arrived.

So what were we afraid of,
What was the magic spell?
Where was all the the temptation
That would lead me right to Hell?

So i guess that they’re not wicked,
I was scared of the wrong stuff,
They’re just happy that Winters’s over
And want to party in the buff!

Walpurgisnacht
Is the night where we pray for our seed
Walpurgisnacht
Is the night that we renew our beliefs
Walpurgisnacht