Calm yourself, Internet. This isn’t my photo.

Something decidedly amusing happened yesterday.  Mr. Jason Mankey posted a lovely piece on Raise The Horns questioning whether there can be Paganism without the occult and eruditely opining that Pagans who mock other Pagans who hold occult beliefs and practices are assholes.  It’s a great article, and I hope everyone gets a chance to read it soon.  But here’s what made this article funny to me.

I came home yesterday after work and immediately ensconced myself in our kitchen to make an enormous pot of ham-and-bean soup.  As I was elbow deep in caramelizing onions and deglazing pans, I heard a righteous cry of anger from the living room from my housemate.

“Melissa!  This guy on the Internet is totally stealing pictures from your blog!  You gotta see this!”

Now, I don’t believe it’s a secret that I use a lot of images here that I didn’t create myself, and I know I’m a bit slapdash at making sure I link back to where I got it from, so I laughed and told K. as much.  She was incredibly insistent that this was one of my original pictures, though, so I popped the onions on the back burner and went to peer at her laptop, where I saw this:


It took me a minute, too, guys.

“Holy balls!” I cried, “That’s my pentacle! What the French toast?” I was so distracted by seeing my pentacle in a place I did not expect my pentacle to be, that it took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to realize that none of the other tools were mine.  In my defense, I have a close cousin of that tablecloth, and I sometimes use a silver bowl about that size for salt, and I use a similar salt grain size for ritual.  There is, however, no defending the fact that I actually checked out my toolbox to make sure my pentacle didn’t grow legs and walk off to California.

Here's my tools, all snug as a bug in their, box.

Here’s my tools, all snug as a bug in their rug…er, box.

What really amused me, though, was the handful of e-mails I got today from total strangers saying, “Giiiiirl!  Jason Mankey done stole your photo!”  (That’s a direct quote from my favorite, by the way.  Hi, A.!)  I mean, I think there’s under 100 comments from people who are not me on this entire behemoth of a website.  I can count the private messages I’ve received prior to this point on one hand.  I can see that loads of people are reading, but the communication here at 366 has almost always been one way…so getting multiple messages in a day from more than one person was a very novel experience for me.

Pagans of the Internet:  Your interest in Intellectual Property Rights is to be commended.  You’ve darn well terrified me into making sure I always link back to anything I steal.  But this pic be Jason’s.  That’s one of his athames in the photo.  You can see it in this post.  I’m sure he’s probably posted a picture with his wand in it at some point in time or another, too.  It’s not a stretch to assume he contacted Godfrey and Alwynd of Gaean Allusions in Chehalis and asked them to make a pentacle.  I’ve shown mine off in lots of Gardnerian communities since I had it made, and I’ve always been forthcoming on who made it.  I really appreciate the alerts, but there’s no need for alarm here.

I’m tickled knowing my pentacle has a twin somewhere out there.  You have great taste, Jason.  🙂


12 thoughts on “Calm yourself, Internet. This isn’t my photo.

  1. Housemate K. has brought it to my attention that the chronological juxtaposition of this post to my “What I Did at Pantheacon 2015; or, The Many Times I Made an Ass out of Myself in front of Jason Mankey” post gives the impression that I stalk poor Jason in my spare time.

    I save my stalking for NPR personalities. Audie Cornish has gotta be lifting that restraining order any day now…

  2. I happen to appreciate what you went through. Unfortunately it does happen, AND usually those who don’t quote sources are the same ones who rant and rave when someone used THEIR writings, samples of art even if their are listed as the source. Sad really. I don’t know if I read the post you mentioned, and it surprised me that he would call Pagans who happen not to want to use Magic “Assholes” I happen to think that the use of magic is personal choice and everyone has the right to use magic or not as a pagan. BB

    • Thanks, Snowfox!

      To clarify, Jason did not (and never would!) call Pagans who don’t use magic assholes. He was noting that there are some Pagans who try to eliminate classically occult practices from their own personal practice, and that this is fine so long as you don’t judge occult-Pagans. What he actually said was “One doesn’t have to believe in occult things to be a Pagan, but to mock those of us with occult beliefs is to mock the very beginnings of Modern Paganism. To be honest, it’s really just an asshole move and won’t win you any friends.”

      • I can relate. Sorry, I misunderstood. Like I said, I don’t think I read his blog so I was not trying to be judgmental of him, just the term used.

      • The last tool I needed to complete my Gard altar was a pentacle. My wife and I have plans to make one out of wax, but we’ve never gotten around to it so I began looking for alternatives. The picture of your pentacle comes up early in a Google search and I loved it so much I decided to get one made just like it. So if you think you are stalking me, well it’s probably the other way around.

      • Huh. I thought all my pictures coming up early for me in Google searches was simply a factor of me spending quite a bit of online time at my own site. I am woefully undereducated on the Google algorithms.

        I made a wax pentacle, and it did not jive with my OCD tendencies. I made it out of beeswax, herbs and items, and colored beeswax. Basically, I took one of my springform pans, poured a layer of beeswax in the bottom, and set it on top of a heating pad set on low so that the rapid cooling wouldn’t crack it. Then I sprinkled a layer of stuff on as the wax began to harden, then poured another layer of wax on top of all the stuff. That was pretty easy. I printed out a template and used that to neatly carve out symbols, then filled the voids with blackened beeswax. The effect was quite charming.

        The problem, though, was that dust stuck to the pentacle like iron filings to a magnet. Then beeswax bloom happened. I kept it clean with occasionally wiping it down with an oiled cloth, but after about a year or so, it was looking especially woebegone. I guess I could have carved out the black wax, melted it down, strained out the stuff, and recast it…but that didn’t appeal to me. The greater durability of the ceramic paten is much appreciated! And I occasionally wax on other symbols and such for specific workings. A blast with a hair dryer and a wipe of tissue, and it’s clean and ready to go.

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