[Rotting Silver] “A Book of Charms” by B. T. Newberg

Wit against ogres, discernment against elves,

Self-worth against vampires, courage against ghosts,

Laughter against spooks, and critique against angels,

Gratitude for flowers, patience with weeds,

Industry in sunshine, and rest in rain,

Greeting in thunder, kinship in thunderbolts,

Caution against vipers, forgiveness for cast-off skins,

Charity for snails, respect for the crow,

Wrath for leeches, sympathy for wasps,

Posterity in eagles, and destiny in worms,

Candor in disease, wisdom in sanity,

Nakedness in the mirror, and a veil among swine,

Worship in a good year, action in dearth,

A clean house, and a fondness for mud,

Love in darkness, lightness in sorrow,

Levity in fever, and work in fire,

Loneliness on the mountain, aid in the field,

Joy at home, and sensitivity in caves,

Waywardness in forests, perseverance in desert,

Buoyancy in rivers, and surrender in the ocean,

Burial in water, rebirth from a well,

Roundness in autumn, and thinness in spring,

Crookedness in growth, and a solid sense of mist.


Rotting Silver is a column devoted to this Earth in all its tarnished radiance: poetry, prose, and parables of ugliness alloyed with joy.

This piece was first published at The Witch’s Voice.

The Author

B. T. Newberg

B. T. Newberg:  Since the year 2000, B. T. has been practicing meditation and ritual from a naturalistic perspective. He currently volunteers as Education Director for the Spiritual Naturalist Society, where he is creating an online course in naturalistic spirituality. His writings can also be found at Patheos and Pagan Square, as well as right here at HP.

Professionally, he teaches English as a Second Language.  After living in Minnesota, England, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea, he currently resides in St Paul, Minnesota, with his wife and cat.

After founding HumanisticPaganism.com in 2011 and serving as managing editor till 2013, he now serves as advising editor, and feels blessed to be a part of this community.

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