Thee Devil’s Handshake: A Wytche’s Grammer of Antifascism
Wrote with approval of the Crossroads Man and under this tutelage
Dreamed under the Lunar Mansion Al Butn Al Hut
Penned under the Lunar Mansion Al-Sharatain
Finished on thee Day of Rememberance
for thee War Dead
Thou who has gleaned beyond the realms of mortal men, if ye be reading this you have come onto dire straits true and rightly.
Many a day I had spent in my swamp, and many a day I had tried to ignore the rules and complications of the Kingdom to the North. Aye, I lived beyond them, and many a ghost and sprite I called friend who kept the servants of the Crown of Capital away from me. But I learned, as well as you do now, that isolation does not freedom bring. On even the sunniest days I could hear the cries of the oppressed; no sleep had I due to the incessant whispers of souls unjustly loosened from mortal coils. I traveled many miles and spoke to councils hidden in the astral realm, but to no avail.
There are those of the magic folk who will refuse to act to the end, who no longer can remember the Burning Times and selfishly stand apart from the mundane that depend on them. Aye, but what be a wizard but a conduit for spirit? What be spirit without souls to touch? And do ye not think that the arms of the law shall not just as soon be upon you?
There is your self-interest: that the freedom of others ensures your own. That the cries of the wounded and dying do not keep you from your sleep and the wailing of the tearful keep ye from your studies.
There be a pact ye can make, provided you be at least thrice in number, to protect your hamlet from the scourge of King Capital and his Fasces.
Thee ritual be as follows.
First ye be needing more than one of your ilk. Look amongst ye friends and determine who would be interested in partaking in such a ritual. Find comrades of similar tastes and proclivities, of multiple talents and varied personality. Above all for the ritual to work ye must be united in both radical cause and bonds of friendship. Ensure that all who partake in said ritual understand that arrest and possible detention are indeed a possibility. Make clear that servants of the Law and turncoats will not be tolerated.
Thee group need not be made of pure muscle nor lofty mages half-way to the Land of the Dead. A diverse group of skills will go a long way. A Comrade that eschews violence but loves plants makes a great medic, a differently-abled witch can become a powerful seer who can help ye avoid trouble and remain protected. What matters most, as in most magic, is the intent. Gather around ye the serious, the tired of platitudes and electoral shams and aim to make changes in the world right outside your door.
Now that ye gathered ye comrades there still be steps before the calling of the Spirits. Make ye an address or location that others might call upon yer group. An immaterial mailbox found upon an electric web would be ideal for this, though Randolph the Great say such things be impossible. “Aye,” says I, “and would not the Mundane folk say to thee that astral travel be just as impossible? Mark my words, there will come a time that images of cats be shared across the seas and folks of ill temper be free to argue on distant shores.”
But alas, I digress.
Ye group shall meet regularly, though how often be up to you. Let no full moon rise in the sky between a meeting at least, lest the spirits of apathy break the ritual and destroy all ye built. Regular meetings not only make comrades but friends, and maintain a bond not even interrogation can break. Let the meetings at first be business only, and pertain to the continued structures and actions of the group. After the business is attended to let the group move to enjoy congenial company free to discuss either occult or practical topics, but never the business of the pact.
The easiest way of this is to create a Pact Stone.
Take ye a stone of pocket size and unjust shape from a crossroads. Bathe the stone three times in a tea of Black Cohosh, Ginsing, and Ginger calling upon the stone to ensure safe discussions of revolutionary business. Ask the spirit of the stone to warn you of trouble and promise to feed it whiskey after every meeting. Keep the stone in a black bag and only unleash it when official things are to be discussed.
To the untrained eye a stone is a stone, and even on a table in a cafe appears little more than a trinket.
The first night of the Pact, in a growing moon, set down a code. This be both a manifesto and guideline for what you hope to accomplish. This be ye statement of intent. Create not yet a name. Make two copies. Set down what is acceptable behavior and what is not, though keep it short. Ye be sorcerers, not bureaucrats; the code be more a set of guidelines than the perversion men call Laws. Anoint each corner with water brewed from bay leaf with a drop in the center calling for success. After this is done agree upon a symbol, simple in nature and more of a sigil, to draw upon one of the papers. Let not the marked paper see daylight and keep it covered until the new moon.
Know ye the one they call the Devil be but the Crossroads God of our own shores? Him who breaks all conventions, codes, and norms? He shall be ye patron god, though free ye are to work with others. Him that hold open the gates of Luck and Death be wise to have on your side, and keen He is to aid them that desire to upset that which be deemed “legal.” Aye, him it was that lay behind every lie, every conspiracy, and every change that move in all things; Him that always is becoming other than what He was becoming and is at the same time what He is in the here and now.
Ye shall gather a black bandanna for each of your pact plus another. This will be not only a ritual item but a flag to mark ye to the spirits as an enemy of the current order. Take the bandannas and soak them in a tea made of Hoyt’s cologne, High John the Conqueror, Red Pepper flakes, and Black Cohosh.
Now gather a bottle of whiskey, wormwood, and a freezer bag, making sure to each take a swing from the bottle in solidarity. Barring that each take drink from it because it tastes good and does a body well. Stuff wormwood in the bottle and ask that the Crossroads Man find it an acceptable vessel to channel strength and victory to your pact.
Now, go out all together to a crossroads where you can work in peace at the new moon. Open the bottle of whiskey. Take the marked Code and place it in the freezer bag making sure to seal it tight. Jam the Code into the whiskey bottle, taking the spare bandanna ye blessed and stopping it up with the spare bandanna as ye would a molotov cocktail. Call upon the Crossroads man to bless the bottle and the mission of all assembled. Ask him to empower the bandannas that they keep you safe, grant lock, and bring swift defeat to the jaws of enemies when a master lock be wound around them. Call also that he punish and harm all thee members of said pact that would turn over their comrades to the arms of the Law. This cannot be understated. Aye, we desire a life without rules but no existence, here or in any other realm, be without consequences. An air of seriousness is required for serious work, and if ye and ye comrades aren’t up to the task may I humbly suggest ye take up the proud and noble hobby of underwater basketweaving.
Take the bottle and hide it somewhere near the crossroads and return home. Return to that place for 9 nights, calling and asking each night at the same time. You will feel Him, see Him, and know his response. After 9 nights your pact has been created and the Crossroads spirit will aid you in your work.
The Pact is alive now, and supernatural. Ye have called the Forces Outside to aid in ye struggle for liberation. Be mindful that the Code stay safe, for if touched by ignorant hands it shall lose all power.
Ye now have the God of Change on your side, the Devil Himself of Crossroads fame advocating for the overthrow of oppression and constricting powers. Create ye a secret name for the Pact and a public name for the mundane folk that wish to fight alongside ye. Just as the Divine ye are two in one, the esoteric and exoteric. Guard ye the nature of the Pact as sternly as ye guard the bottle which houses it. Ye be AntiFa, yet ye be more.
Claim ye territory. Create stickers and posters advertising that this be an anti-fascist zone, and that discrimination of no kind be tolerated. These can be found freely available across the land, and ye can even glue them into place to make them harder to remove. Remember ye are sorcerers: take thee sigil ye wrote upon the Code and draw it on each poster or sticker. This draw the power of Him Ye Called to each item, and allows Him to be ye watchful eye and invisible hand.
In time of peace ye can study texts or moving pictures of a revolutionary nature together. Ye can do food drives, ye can aid in labor struggles in ye hometown. If nothing else ye can get together and drink heartily. Above all know that what ye built is a living thing, a current of energy weaving and movin’ about it. Keep it alive and ye shall grow. Fail to feed the beast and it shall wither and die.
Times of peace, especially if ye be reading this time, shall be in short supply however. Note ye this is not a protest group, nor a mere forum for airy ideas. Ye group shall welcome all that can contribute but know that without feet on the ground yer claims to no tolerance of racism are but soft clouds on a windy morning. Ye must be ready, and willing, to confront the enemy wherever they arise and that does mean ye be going to them on occasion.
The folk ye be against are bullies, plain and simple, and used to intimidating those around them. Be ye not afraid, and carry a masterlock on ye bandanna to help convince the more touchy ones you mean business. Large forces go a long way, and 30 peaceful people refusing to allow 5 to travel can do wonders. But this be only one tactic, and woe to those who religiously follow it. Thee fascists have organized and have no qualms in beating all they deem foes. If ye not be willing to defend them, by force if necessary, ye be not worthy of this document and may a curse fall upon whatever project ye undergo.
Aye there may come a time where push comes to shove and rough action might save someone’s life. In dark times the wicked in folk rushes out like fog from a marsh. If ye territory allow it(though what care we for the law?) consider perhaps ye a sidearm, for purely defensive purposes. Shooting be a fun hobby, one that can be undertaken together at a range, that builds confidence and comradeship. A sixgun be both stylish and cheap, and withstand all manner of damage; a pistol allow ye many chances and can be carried very easily on yer person undetected.
No manner of muscle stop a bullet, from either pistol or revolver, and while the gods made some folk big and others small Sam Colt hath made them all equal.
Do I speak unjustly? Praytell, have I spoken out of turn? One cannot tell what may happen, and do recall when the great storm hit the city of New Orleans a group of white supremacists went out and killed people. Think on that. When the cards are down and a group of folk be hunted in the streets like animals, will ye not defend them with all available means or will ye hide like cowards and watch the innocent die in the mud?
If ye refuse the sidearm (as many of ye northern folk do, though we of the southern territories still wax mightily on this vexation) ye must still be prepared. Slingshots, bats, or even fists are fine tools the fascist understands on an intrinsic level. Ye group may engage in physical training to build confidence and comradeship.
Ye tools of combat can be rubbed in John the Conqueror Oil and blessed with the following prayer said thrice:
“By the water in the wind and the fire in the trees, may all Good Spirits bless and protect this tool. May it function well and true, and may it only be used to extract justice and ensure protection. All those that hate me must be silent before me; their hearts are dead in regard to me; and their tongues are mute, so that they are not at all able to inflict the least injury upon me, or my house, or my premises: And likewise, all those who intend attacking and wounding me with their arms and weapons shall be defenceless, weak and conquered before me. In this shall assist me thee mighty power of Him that Control the Gates, which can make all arms or weapons of no avail. So shall it be, now here and in eternity.”
Ye be gathered, ye be aligned with ye supernatural patron, ye study and train in the defensive arts together. Ye keep ye magic for the minds of the wise only and your club welcome even the mundane. If ye have the numbers ye can create a solidarity network and actively fight bosses and landlords of all kinds. Ye can engage in even further militant attacks, though always under a flag built for such purposes.
Make sure to advertise ye presence online so others of like mind may find you. Keep official business off it and use methods of encryption to stay safe. Consider developing a cant, much like the thieves of old had. Not only is it riotous humor to speak in ways others cannot understand, it helps build comradeship. Words have power and ye cannot comprehend the power in words ye together only share. It also do ye well to consider a hacked communication mean nothing if nobody understand what the words are saying.
A quick and easy code ye can speak is Rogue’s Rhyme: replace a common word or one of importance with a phrase of two or three words, the last of which rhymes with the original word; then omit from the end of the phrase the secondary rhyming word (which be thereafter implied), making the origin and meaning of the phrase elusive to listeners not in the know. This be a code easily adapted to individual locales and allows words once compromised to be adapted and changed with minimal effort.
“Refugee” becomes “Do-re-mi” and ye can now freely talk with the wise about planning to protect “Dough Houses.” “Propaganda” becomes “Goose-and-Gander” and nobody would think those strange folk talking about a “Goose Run” two days earlier be responsible for leafleting downtown.
As regards to ye campaigns and struggles if ye be successful make it known. There be many sites that wish to know of your exploits, and each victory builds confidence for not only thee members of your crew but across the lands and provinces. Your success, when made public, can inspire others to break free from limitation and put an end to the rule of Capital. How powerful, how priceless, be the knowledge that even if ye seem alone others are working by moonlight just as ye are, eating away at the flesh of this vile machinery like tadpoles do a water-bound skull? Ye may send your exploits to It’s Going Down, or if they be more militant in nature Insurrection News. If ye actions be primarily to protect the land Earth First Newswire be happy to bring fame to ye exploits.
We humans be different from the gods, though made of the same material. We alone are free to tell our own tale, to write our own chapter, and the greatest gift of the magical art is to imbue everything with Spirit if we so will it.
Dark days indeed be ahead, and the furies are silent on how much damage be done. But the Crossroads Man care not for the small tilts, for He lurk in all change. Every moment be but an opportunity, a roll of the dice that can be continually turned in favor of the wise.
Thee days of old were writ by heroes, folk of all kinds that stood up against that which would destroy what they held dear. For too long have our people languished in comfort and indifference. Perhaps the fear that sped you to these words is enough to change the hearts of complacency, to realize that the battle is not in some far off city or foreign land, but right outside your door.
There be nobody coming to save you, there be no grand movement fomenting which one day will appear at your feet and ask for ye to join hands in some glorious revolution. To believe in the inevitability of some struggle, some march towards a history foretold by prophecy, denies the Trickster his due. Your hopes for anything being “inevitable” are as foolish as the hopes of the Folk of the Cross that they be flying into the sky naked any day now.
If anything we’ve seen the people of the Crown will choose comfortable slavery over dangerous freedom time and time again. Why then shall we allow their ignorance to harm us or those we love? Why are we between the worlds bound by any law writ by mortal hands? These clubs and Unions be the start of an alternate world, a country within a country where freedom and individuality are valued above obedience and normative. Even if ye crews be surronded by hostile territory, would it make ye cause no less just and no less important?
If we set to the task of liberating our own homes we create pockets of resistance that can unite and turn back an impossible tide. We create a dual power that rivals the state, rivals the law, and makes our ideals a living, breathing reality.
Laws do little when they are not enforced, as the Klan has so insidiously proved, and the streets belong to them who can defend them.
Let us learn our lesson then and strike at the fingers till ye can cut off the whole hand.
Four Thieves Vinegar
For personal protection, to gain a commanding presence, and to sprinkle dissent amongst ye foes
-2 tablespoons rosemary
-2 tablespoons peppermint
-2 tablespoons wormwood
-2 tablespoons sage
-2 tablespoons lavender
-2 tablespoons fresh chopped garlic
-2 quarts apple cider vinegar
Combine ye herbs and vinegar in a sealed glass jar. Steep in the sun for two weeks, shaking thee jar daily. Strain herbs, and ye garlic, and close the lid.
To affix ye tailsmans and ye posters to walls in ye community
-Pot of boiling water
-Pinch of sugar (optional)
-Something to store ye finished product
-Paintbrush or paint roller
Measure out a 1:4 ratio of ye wheat flour and water, keeping both separate. Prepare ye water to boil and add ye wheat flour, stirring mightily, making sure no clumps be found. A pinch of added sugar will make it as sticky as Tupelo honey and makes a fine addition here. Pray ye gods empower thee mixture to bring hope to the oppressed and fear to ye enemies. Ye mixture will keep for 2, perhaps 3 days, so make it as ye need.
When the time come to use it first apply ye mixture onto the surface ye want to stick it to. Proceed to add it the the back of ye poster. Place the poster on the surface and apply an added coat right on top of it to help weather proof it and ensure it be mightily difficult to remove.
To hex ye foes and bring ruin
-Red pepper flakes
-Black mustard seed
-Psalm 109 written in red ink
Gather ye ingredients into ye glass bottle, close it up and shake mightily shouting the most vile and rageful curses ye can muster. When ready hurl at ye enemies doorstep with enough force to shatter it, returning home in a different manner than which ye came.
War Water of Ares
To bring a much more immediate ruin to ye enemies as well as spiritual harm.
-Glass bottle with lid
-Crushed up styrofom cups
-Red pepper flakes
Take ye empty bottle and pour in red pepper flakes, cayenne, and crushed styrofom. Fill ye bottle half way with 50/50 blend of motor oil and gasoline, capping it. Tie ye rag around ye neck of bottle, or affix it tightly with tape, or use metal wire to wrap it. Alternatively, as was learned in the land of Khem, ye may affix rag to the main body of the bottle, leaving the neck free to be used as a handle for greater throwing distance. When ye ready wet a corner of ye rag with a little lighter fluid, put flame to it, and hurl at whatever you wish to suddenly catch fever.
Thee Arch-Rogue’s Hand
For those who wish to keep ye servants of the Law away, whether due to secret activities or desiring to be free from harassment.
-Black mustard seed
-3 chips of Cascara Sagrada bark.
Mix all ingredients in a blue flannel bag in the usual manner, along with the prayers and motions of the Hoodooist’s Arte. Add not ye name to the bag nor a personal concern. Dress with Law Keep Away oil minding the rules involved with keeping such a spirit.
When ye fear ye be under spiritual attack, drawn bad luck, or wish to drive away haints and all manner of evil from a place.
-Psalm 91 written on brown paper.
Make when ye moon is falling. Pour out a bit of ye rue water to make room for thee ammonia. Add all ye ingredients. For added power anoint bottle with Run Devil Run oil once a week. Ye mixture is mighty indeed and can be used on both people and ye places they might wander.
Thee Arteful Jar of Comradeship
To keep ye comrades close and free from strife
-2 of Clubs playing card
-3 Bay leaves
-High John the Conqueror root
Take thee 2 of Clubs and sign all ye names on the back. On the front draw two hand outstretched and embracing one another, one coming from each club. At the top write “United in Strength” and at the bottom write “and Mutual Aid.” On the left side write “Comradeship.” On the right “Understanding.” Put the card in the jar and fill half way with syrup. Then add ye roots and herbs, adding more syrup after to fill it up. Burn a candle anointed with High John the Conquer Oil every Moonday and whenever ye have an argument or heavy disagreement. If after an argument first use ye Haintbreak Water to cleanse the space where thee argument was, then burn ye candle.
Dr. Bones is a conjurer, card-reader and egoist-communist who believes “true individuality can only flourish when the means of existence are shared by all.” A Florida native and Hoodoo practitioner, he summons pure vitriol, straight narrative, and sorcerous wisdom into a potent blend of poltergasmic politics and gonzo journalism. He lives with his loving wife, a herd of cats, and a house full of spirits.