What It Means to be a Storybook Witch

Sometimes being a Storybook Witch means talking on the phone for four hours to get someone out of a panic spiral, while picking apart knitted socks with a crochet hook.

Sometimes being a Storybook Witch means screaming at the ceiling and demanding that whatever is haunting a client better back off because now they have to deal with ME.

Sometimes being a Storybook Witch means casting a net to personal contacts and friends to gather info that would otherwise be out of reach for others.

Sometimes being a Storybook Witch means giving a magical hug and watching the person leave with a trail of invisible fairy dust.

Sometimes being a Storybook Witch means pouring over astrology charts for an entire family, looking for signs of a curse, and binding the suspected curse-casters chart with tape and three colors of yarn bc the papers are thrumming in a highly suspicious manner.

The danger is in getting caught up with other people’s stories and trying to force an ideal narrative on them. That did not work out well for The Fairy Godmother in Shrek, or Lillith Weatherwax in Witches Abroad (Discworld). They tried to control the stories of others and got very mean and nasty when their very narrow ideals were challenged.

Fantastic musical numbers aside.

Some people want you to do just that- they’re tired of how things have played out in their lives, and in these cases I cannot blame their desire in the slightest. They’re looking for a fairy godmother who waves a wand and makes things better. It’s over and done and everyone is supposed to live happily ever after, but nothing has changed on the inside.

Witches dont do that stuff. We make you earn it. There’s a hard lesson to be learned and a cheat sheet isn’t going to teach you anything. Just because the outside has changed, doesn’t mean the inside did.

“You gotta dig a little deeper”

I’m not here to be the sole author of their stories. I’m just a ghostwriter and proofreader. The most important lesson I teach my clients is that YOU ARE THE AUTHOR OF YOUR STORY. MAKE IT A GOOD ONE.

The hardest part people have is accepting the responsibility of that position themselves. They’ve been told a false narrative their whole lives by other people; By the media, by their parents, spouses, children, siblings, friends, etc. They have so many ideas about who they’re supposed to be and what other’s expect from them that they have forgotten WHO THEY TRULY ARE.

Moana restored the heart of Te Fiti by acknowledging the goddess who had forgotten her own self in her grief and rage. I help others see the true self within by reminding them who they are, who the stars said they could become at the moment of their birth, and where the stories got twisted and tangled.

I will find that thread of their true self and unravel the knots until everything is laid out and clear. Then we work together to design a new pattern for their life , one they’re in control of and know how to form with some tutelage from me. Everyone has their own learning style and sometimes books are enough, sometimes YouTube videos, and sometimes it takes a hands on approach and constant reassurance that they’re going to be ok if they just stop being afraid.

Being a Storybook Witch means being a friend to those who have none. It means teaching other people skills they never knew they had access to. It means being an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves.

To me, it means living my souls purpose. And I love every moment.

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Chimnea Magic

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I sincerely hope my brother-in-law lets us keep the chimnea he left behind. It’s become one of my most useful & convenient magic tools. Between giving us some lovely outdoor fire-nights, being a stick & leaf disposal unit, and focal point for the yard, this thing is backyard witchcraft at its finest!

Magic Stuff I Have Used The Chimnea For:

  • Smoke cleansing large objects. Light a charcoal block in the belly, add loose incense and pass objects thru smoke out the top without scorching anything.
  • Burning a curse poppet at midnight and gathering the ashes to scatter at a crossroads the next morning before sunrise.
  • Safe place for a free-standing candle to burn down. Wax forms a 3-D shape that can then be read for divination.
  • Disposal of leftover spell elements that I didn’t want hanging around.
  • Being a weirdo in public, with none the wiser.

 

If you’re lucky enough to score one of these bad girls, I highly endorse using it to it’s magical limits and beyond. Smaller table-top or tea-light versions can be used for excellent spell work as well. You just have to get creative and make sure you know if your unit can handle high temps or not.

Mini-Chimnea Suggested uses

  • Sprinkle loose incense on a tea light to add the energies to it. You may not get smell, but you’ll feel it.
  • If made of heat-proof metal or clay – Use as a charcoal brazier, just add incense.
  • Chime/ free-standing candle burning container.
  • Put sand in the bottom and use for stick incense.
  • Mini-altar for Hearth Deities and House Spirits.

However you utilize a chimnea, the results are nothing short of enchantingly magical. There’s a primal beauty and wonder in a bonfire, but there’s something about a semi-contained source of fire and heat that hits deeper into the heart. It may be that since  chimnea and similar fires are in our more recent cultural memories,  I feel something more ancient than a wood stove or fire place can fully embody.

It’s more magic than a fire pit, but still mundane.
It invites attention, but not enough to invite suspicion.
I can sit in my yard tossing handfuls of herbs on the fire, and if a neighbor asks what’s that smell, I can say with perfect honesty, that the herbs keep mosquitoes away.
And in the winter, no one’s outside b/c it’s too damn cold.

Yeah, I don’t think my brother in law is getting this thing back any time soon.

 

 

What does a storybook witch do in her downtime?

She works on stuff.

There’s always some youth wandering the forest in search of their Fortune, and they often have no idea what they’re even looking for. So the Witch needs to check in with their charts and see what kind of help they’re going to need. So many young people are going through their Saturn Return, and even older folks in their Second. They’re feeling the shackles of old thought needing to be removed but they’re scared and surrounded by cruelties of their story. So the Witch becomes Fairy Godmother-Midwife and helps them during Rebirth. Sometimes it’s calming them down, sometimes it’s making a charm or potion to help ease delivery or speed up the process. Sometimes it’s kicking someone out of their life so they can finally grow.

Sometimes a Lost Prince or Princess wanders into her woods, seeking a way to reclaim their stolen birthright. Often the Prince/ss has been raised as a pauper and must be taught what it is to rule. But other times, the Prince/ss has been broken down to almost nothing. The tasks are harder, the journey inward often glossed over because it’s not nearly so interesting. But the transformation is far more beautiful and satisfying to behold.

That is the current case. The Prince-ling must Recover the Lost Sword, Restore the Broken Armor, and Find the True Heart that guides him.The world was not kind to this Prince-ling and has stripped him of everything he tried to hold dear. The Witch almost wonders what he did in a past life to merit this level of abuse.

Is he willing to make the hard journey inward and face his fears?
This is where the Witch has to get clever and trickster in her ways. This is a long three-part quest in which the Prince-ling must regain his inner kingdom before he can hope to reclaim his birthright. In a way, this is his greater birthright, but he may not think of it that way. He has a great sense of theater and drama, he is prone to self-centeredness, and he will need someone to lovingly smack him out of it once in a while. And the witch must expect nothing from him in return. How often has a Prince thanked his magical helpers at the end of the tale, eh?
(Although the Witch may use the experience as a lesson in coaching, and devise an appropriate compensation rate for later.)

When your pop culture cosmology gets tainted

How does one reconcile the fact that the taint of Evil has infiltrated ones most sacred fandom?

Even though it’s a tiny detail, on a short miniseries /side arc, in the unrecorded history of a sadistic villain, who has never in-canon said or acted in accordance with the Tainting Evil, but nevertheless bears a permanent stamp of that Evil… how does a pop culture pagan handle that?

I’m livid and sick to the depths of my heart at the despicable twist Marvel has put into the Captain America legacy. TO TRY AND RETCON THE ENTIRE CONCEPT OF THE CHARACTER IS FUCKING HERESY.
There is enough outrage from the fandom that I can see a boycott or hitting Marvel in the wallet might get something accomplished. But then I thought farther.
Marvel is owned by Disney now.
We’re all aware of the darker history behind the house that Walt built, but this would be like them trying to say Donald Duck was a sleeper agent all along.
((Since writing this post on my Tumblr, I have seen a letter writing/phone call campaign forming to contact Disney and let the parent company know that this is NOT family friendly and if there’s one thing Disney cares about, it’s their image and money. Other efforts began last year with the initial reveal, but it appears Marvel cares not a whit for the fans and have doubled down on the desecration of Cap’s legacy. Let’s see if the Nanny Mouse listens.))

And then an artist over at IDW comics answers a fan question and confirms that he made the choice to have Rocksteady sporting a WS tattoo from when he, apparently, ran with some skinheads off-canon.

Rocksteady, whose BFF and not-quite-hetero-lifemate Bebop was a Black man, pre-mutation.

I mean, I can absolutely see that happening. Because even back in 1987, human Rocksteady looked like a goddamn skinhead. So it wouldn’t seem too out of the blue to suggest such a thing, or include it in fanfiction or something. Even in canon mentioning would be different (maybe, idk) than having it RIGHT FUCKING THERE IN THE ARTWORK.

As I said on my side blog, I don’t fucking like or condone the choice, but I understand. It makes a disgusting sort of sense.

But they didn’t have to fucking go and DO IT.

Bebop & Rocksteady don’t have a set place in my personal TMNT universe, or cosmology. But they are an important part of the TMNT multi-verse, and it has been established that all TMNT versions are true.

So the taint has come to the one realm I thought was safe.

And that makes my very soul want to puke.

Putting The Underpants Gnomes To Work, For You (REPOST for St Patrick’s Day)

Note: Originally released as a Patron-Only posting for my Modern Mythology Scholar tier, I decided to re-post this in honor of St Patrick’s Day, Leprechauns, and helper-gnomes of all cultures. May the luck and aid of these mischievous earth spirits bring you everything you ask for, and nothing that you didn’t.

I love South Park. I think I’ve seen every episode at least thirty times, memorized the movie, played Stick of Truth three times, you get the idea. But one of their most brilliant throw-away ideas has taken root in my brain and was just begging for a spot in Modern Mythology: The Underpants Gnomes.

They have the dumbest business plan. They have no idea what phase two entails, but somehow it’s supposed to turn all the underpants they collect into profit. Which, when you know absolutely nothing about business, is pretty much a starting plan. You feel sufficiently busy and over-worked but have nothing to show for it aside from piles of panties. Or whatever you’re collecting/making. The whole episode is a satire of capitalism and small business vs big corporations and how the one can be just as greedy as the other. The Gnomes are the most honest business of all, openly declaring that they’re only doing things for money, without caring how they get it.

I began working with Gnomes (earth spirits, not specifically these guys) in 2015 when I was house-hunting and facing homelessness if we didn’t find a place to live by June. I picked up some  Green Calcite stones at the annual gem & mineral show. I loved how they felt in my hand, very alive and eager to have a job. Green calcite is excellent for helping things manifest, and feels like having an army of little gnomes who are ready and eager to help you achieve your goals. The results can be a bit chaotic if you have very broad needs and desires. Green Calcite gnomes work better when given a fully-outlined plan of action, but take care not to be too specific in your desired results, because they will find exactly what you’re asking for, warts and all.

To use the Gnomes, I carried them in my pockets whenever we went loking at a house or apartment, and during the course of the walk-thru, I would en-devour to place a stone on the property. Sort of like sticking a pin onto a map, but this pin was an energy receiver/transmitter. Because Calcite is a soft stone and beneficial to the soil, I didn’t feel guilty about burying the gnomes where I might not be able to retrieve them later. When the houses we marked either were found to be unsuitable (needed a new foundation, out of our price range, the owners changed their mind, the house was haunted AF), I would turn off the beacon. I had a large chunk of calcite, the Gnome King, who was the control hub.
We did eventually find the perfect house for us, four days under the deadline.

There is a price to their service. It seems that the Underpants Gnomes will also accept socks as payment. Just my socks. My husband seems to have found every sock he ever lost, but nearly all of mine have vanished. So it seems I’ll have to give the little buggers something to keep them busy for a while. Honestly, the Gnomes are… kinda stupid. I mean, they’re willing to do all sorts of tasks in order to collect underthings and I honestly don’t want to know what they’re doing with the socks either. But they’re exceedingly helpful when asked nicely. Just be sure to give them clear instructions, and hide your favorite socks.

“Ah, Gnomes now!”

  • Green Calcite pieces
  • Large Green Calcite chunk (Gnome King)
  • Money attraction oil/incense/powder
  • Money-drawing herbs, folding money, coins, etc
  • Written instructions, or an open contract (your spell)
    • Be clear on what you’re looking for, but not too specific
      • A house within my price range, with land to grow a garden and windows that my cat can sit in, within x miles of my job
      • A job where i can have creative freedom, with a six-figure salary, in a field I enjoy, with awesome co-workers
      • A car that I can afford, that runs perfectly, and will last at least 5+ years

Anoint the stones with Money Drawing oil, burn the incense and pass the stones through the smoke. Talk to the stones and tell then what you’re looking for. If you’re still trying to figure out the details, keep the stones with you when you’re discussing the matters and keep them involved. They’re always listening and they’ll take your counsel in the matters.  Keep the King on your altar and talk to it when you want to relay messages to the other gnomes. You can put money-drawing herbs, cash, house listings, or whatever corresponds to your desire under the Gnome King.

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When you go out job/house/car hunting, bring the stones with you so they can report back to the Gnome King. If possible, plant a Gnome on or near a potential candidate for acquisition. If something better come along, dismiss the Gnomes planted elsewhere from their duty.

When your goal is achieved, be sure to thank the Gnomes and the King for their service. Food, water, and booze are acceptable. Just don’t be surprised if your socks and underthings start vanishing later.

Pop Culture Political Magic – Seeing the Patterns & Making New Ones

Although I was raised alongside hippies and alternative families, I’d never been huge into the activism scene. My mom was the only member of her family to protest anything back in the day, but it seems she lost the fire when she started her own business and embraced capitalism. Lately through necessity, I’ve found several groups and authors who, along with practical actions, advocate working with the culture spirit of Lady Liberty. They mention other american folk heroes such as Paul Bunyan, John Henry, Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, and others. Those are excellent ideas, but out-dated and arguably problematic for themes of colonialism, views of Native Americans as savages, and a healthy dose of racist and sexist mindset. These folk-tales are inherently American in that way. We could look to Native American mythology, and if you are a member or want to get to know the folklore of the people who were on your homeland before European conquest, Go for it! But I want to look at this from a global standpoint, since the problems we’re all facing aren’t just in America, but all over the world and what happens in this country ripples outward to influence the whole web. We all come from different cultures and the regional folk heroes are reflective of that, but there is one shared culture that has become internationally recognized,  Popular Culture.

The world has gotten smaller as globalization and the Internet have connected us in ways only dreamed up by the likes of philosophers and Nikola Tesla. An invisible web of communication as allowed us to talk across the globe in real-time and exchange all sorts of information (for good or ill) at a moment’s notice. Some could, and would be within their rights, to call it a digital web of Wyrd; and electric reflection of the Shamanic Connections that all indigenous cultures recognize/d and work/ed within. For millennia, these cultures’ shaman and holy people have acknowledged the fact that all living creatures are connected in some way. Circle of Life, All-One organism, webs and nets and the like, Energy, Spirit. What happens to one thread influences all threads of the greater weaving, and they can either break under the strain or support a greater weight. We’re all connected so it would behoove us to help each-other out for the benefit of the tribe/ species. It’s how we have ALWAYS survived as humans – take care of your neighbor because we are all on this same blue marble in space.

I would argue that Chaos Magic operates on similar principles as far as the idea that it’s the belief in our actions that create changes around us. The belief that our actions send out signals on the Web of Magic and things happen ¹ . Belief in a thought-form gives shape to the thought and thus fuels  creation into a separate Being. We also know from psychology that human minds are very open and susceptible to influence across a wide social network, even if they’re not fully aware of it. That is the essence for Marketing. Meme magic was put into play during the farce of an election by various trolls who (for all I know) did it for the lulz. Their actions shook the web and I would also argue that many threads were broken by the actions and that’s partly why we are on such a precarious balance and tipping more every day. We are also seeing the resistance fighting back with perfectly set-up responses to adversarial Meme Magic .

We’ve seen how the global mindset is reverting over to right-wing, authoritarianism. What triggered it? Better minds than mine have offered ideas and pointed fingers, or else are still puzzling over why we’re taking such a phenomenal leap backwards along evolution. I am not interested in looking back and asking “How did we get here?” We are HERE. NOW. My biggest question is “How do we get to someplace better?

It’s hard to even imagine a better place right now, being bogged down by all the horrors going on, more and more piled on us each day. But we cannot let the bad news and awful situations rob us of the future that so many are fighting for. You never know what you’ve got until someone takes it away, and now we who grew up in a world where we thought we had rights and freedoms (and were sheltered by our racial and gender privilege), are having those freedoms we took for granted ripped away faster than we can process.

This is intentional.

Human beings as a whole are loathe to make drastic changes unless our backs are against the wall and we have no other recourse but to power through and see what’s on the other side. And we allowed ourselves to collectively get where we are, by making the same choices over, and over, and over again. Insanity is defined as doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. Right now, we are an insane society. When our ancestors started changing how they did things, they either kept up what worked, or abandoned what didn’t. And then the Industrial revolution and the rise of capitalism happened and we became complacent that the way we’d always done things was how they would always function. We now know the folly of that thinking;  Infinite growth on a finite resource doesn’t hold up. And the only reason we haven’t collectively made the people in charge change is because we fell for the greatest propaganda plot ever conceived. So how do we break free of that kind of deeply-ingrained thoughtform?

It sounds trite, but the only way we can start to break free of that kind of programming is to recognize it for what it is, and program something different. Think of a different outcome. Maybe don’t expect it to come true right away, because to do that now will lead to all sorts of disappointment. Instead, focus on how good living in a better future would feel. The whole point of Star Trek: TOS was to showcase how successful humanity could be when we stop focusing on our differences and instead work towards a common great goal. For decades, we’ve been focusing on dystopian fantasy, and sometimes it looks like the opposition are using those books as a guideline. But they forget that the dystopian novels always have some plucky band of rebels who stand up and say ‘This doesn’t have to be! We can do better!’ and in the end, they win. We don’t see much of the aftermath, when the rebels are building anew society on the ruins of the old ones. Solarpunk is a beautiful inspirational genre for such visualizations. (If anyone has any fiction recommendations where people are rebuilding the world and it works out, please let me know. I could use some inspirational material.)

If despair is taking hold and you’re having a tough time imagining a better world, remember this quote from Sir Terry Pratchett –

“YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME?” – Death, Hogfather

 

 

Pop Culture Paganism -An Occult Weapon For These Troubling Times?

Sooo…. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Pop culture and it’s use in magic and the influence it’s had on our political and global situation, as well as what kind of magical work I, or other magicians, can do to help protect the people who need it right now. A timely blog posting by a favorite pagan writer referenced another article about the Magical battle of Britain.

In gross summation, Dion Fortune rallied together other occultists like Crowley, Gardner, and even Ian Fleming to create some a major magical protection over the country and it’s people. It came at a very high price, as many members were physically drained by the effort and some died within a year or two after the war ended, but what they did worked to keep the Germans out of Britain. I encourage people to read this article, and the book (I’ve got it on order right now), but the key information was summarized here:
 
“Dion Fortune’s magickal act worked on several sound magickal theories:
1) She believed that trained ritualists could combine their efforts to influence the collective Will of the British people, not any one individual.
2) She utilized easily-recognizable culturally-based spirits and egregors whose meaning would be intuitively understood by thousands of people.
3) She drew upon spirits and egregors already associated with the purpose for which they’d been called.
4) She created simple acts of magick that could be easily imitated, and contributed to, by a wide range of individuals in disparate geographical locations.
5) She was doing a Working in a cause that thousands of people were passionate about.
 
It seems to me that any act of magick intended to influence the actions of such a large group of people would do well to keep these principles in mind. Trying to get a large group of people to do something complicated is challenging. Trying to get them to do something simple that they feel strongly about is much easier.”
 
If Dion Fortune and her fellow occultists could turn the tides of war and keep their home land safe utilizing the thought forms/spirits of St Michael, St George, Merlin, and King Arthur, why couldn’t pop culture pagans do something similar with our spirits and gods? Captain America, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, all of our super heroes who not only have a historical precedent established of punching Nazi’s in the face, but are already symbols of hope and heroism. Could we actively utilize their energy and channel it into a self-recharging spell that gets reinforced every time someone reads a comic book or watches a superhero movie? I think we could. And because of the globalization of the Internet, and the sheer volume of pop culture influence in the minds and hearts of our generation, I think we could put it into action with less severe consequences than Dion Fortune and her colleagues received for their resounding success.

All magic comes with a price, but that price can be negotiated.

Get To Know The Pioneer Valley Witch – Audio Appearances

It’s been a bust week for this little PVWitch! I was a guest on two blogtalk radio programs, on the Magical Experiments station, hosted by Taylor Ellwood.

Magical Experiments – Pop Culture Magic Tools
I had the honor of joining two other pop culute mages on tTaylor’s show the other night. I think we could have just kept going for another hour, just on our personal views of pop culutre as modern mythology.

Herbal Answer Man : Episode 5 – Meet the Office Witch
Official Podcast for my family’s business, The Herbarium. My father, JOnathan Evans, is  the herbal information specialist at the shop, and I”m the Office Witch. On this week’s episode, I get to be interviewed and have a chance to explain and elaborate just what I do and why i call myself a Wtich. Very much for Muggles 🙂

 

“It has to hurt if it’s to heal!” – Urgl, The Neverending story

 

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Sure could use some of that famous Bat Wing Broth right about now.

 

It hurts alright. A lot. And it’s going to take time to heal from this betrayal, and time is the one thing we don’t have much of. Right now, as of writing this, (Nov 9th 2016), Obama is still president and all the progressive legislation that was passed in recent years is still in place. Freedom of speech has not been revoked and the Internet is a place of free discourse and connection.

The pain is there, like a weight on all of us, and some may succumb to the pressure of despair. I urge you to find strength and connection with your friends and family who support those rights we all hold dear, and some have taken for granted on a grand scale.

You are allowed to be hurt. You are allowed to be angry. You are allowed to rant and rave and scream and cry unto the heavens if you so choose. But know that at the end of the raving and release of emotions, we are all still stuck on this beautiful blue marble in space and that we little ants in the system have the power and the NUMBERS to make great change.

If we are brave enough. 

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“Do they make it, Atreyu?”  “I’m not sure yet…”

I do not ask you to put your life in danger, if it can be avoided. Some of us will be living in terror from now on, looking over our shoulders at every public outing, or not daring to leave the house without a friendly escort. I pray for your safety. There is a time-honored method of Witches and magic users in times of intense pressure and strife; a method that in the last 30 years or so, the occult community has all but disavowed and turned their back on. It is making a resurgence and I for one welcome the option. I am speaking of Curses and Hexes.

Now is not the time to hide behind a misunderstood bastardization of Karma. There is no Three-Fold Law that all witches ascribe to. I was raised with the Golden Rule of “Treat others how you would like to be treated”, and right now the world has let us know, in no uncertain terms, how it would like to see marginalized people be treated. Hint, It’s not with Love & Light.

Clearly, our ancestors had no moral qualms about cursing, as grimoires and spell books are filled with them and every culture has their own little quirks of deflecting The Evil Eye. Now it is more than just covetous eyes upon us; the owners of those eyes would see harm done to us for merely existing in their monochromatic world. And we are not all in a place to fight back with our bodies, minds, or even voices if we dare.Spell work and curses have a long history of being subtle and powerful ways of whittling away at the grander scale of things.

I ask you now, take a look at your life and then look ahead to where is could most likely go from there. It’s a pretty bleak picture. Would you give in to despair and await your fate, or would you take up occult arms against the surging tide of darkness and use the anger inside you to fuel some real change on a grander metaphysical scale?

We are all hurting. Let’s take that hurt and use it to start healing. Set up your protection spells and charms.  Get your finances in order and figure out a game plan. If you need protection spells, ask for them. I for one will be offering free, or reduced price protection charms to those in dire need. I will also be taking the anger of this injustice and using it to fuel my curses at those monsters who would send us back to the stone age. If nothing else, it will make me feel better for a while.

Or at least until a Luck Dragon shows up.

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FALKOOOOORRRRR!!