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.
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.
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.
I will never understand humanity’s mad desire to crush and destroy anything that is good and pure. Something that is “too good for this world” is stifled, abused, stepped on, isolated, slandered, and otherwise destroyed for all intents and purposes and to what end?
Why do humans try to destroy that which we should uphold as a beacon of hope, a standard to strive for, so that we too can achieve this level of wholeness?
Why is history marked with the bravest and wisest people being stoned to death or burned at the stake? Religious institutionalism and political control aside, why do we do this on the small family group or tribal level?
Why is there a scapegoat in the family? Why is there a Meg Griffin main target? Why does a parent single out one child to torture and deprive of basic human kindness?
And when that child refuses to break, when they radiate more light and find someone outside the family who sees them for the wonderful person they are, the parents swoop in and chain the child up. They prevent that child from receiving any kindness at all, lest they get the idea that they are worthy of basic compassion and humanity.
The pattern repeats into adulthood. The parents refuse to aid their child thru horror and trials that would (and have) sent most others into the depths of depression, despair, even suicide. Baseline compassion and empathy is denied them, just contempt and derision. But this shining human being walks thru it all, bent and bowed under the pressure, but never broken. Only once do they snap and hit rock bottom but even then they have an inner core of steel that will bend and sway but not break and they lift themselves back up and carry on.
More and more weight is thrust upon them, lower they bow, but never break. The scars made them tougher, while inside they are still soft and loving. More and more support is sucked away; first by the parent, then by the spouse, then children. Then the spouse turns on them and casts them out, as well as the children created, or else they poison the mind of the children against the parent who did everything in their limited power to protect the children at all costs. Another spouse comes along, promising to be their salvation, but instead they are another sadistic overseer, piling more chains and restrictions, trying to break the shining person’s very Spirit.
This Spirit is the first, last, and only support system the person has ever been able to rely upon. This is the Spirit that others tried to kill, tried to starve, tried to abandon and neglect, tried to poison but nothing they did had any lasting effect. The Spirit was wounded, but healed quickly and grew only stronger in defiance.
Fifty years of this repeating pattern. Fifty years of walking thru the fiery fields of Hell, until they’re familiar and the shining human sees them as normal.
Until the shining human makes friends with a witch. A witch who sees the radiance that half a century of shit-flinging couldn’t diminish. A Witch who has born under the Sign of the Scales, with strong ties to Justice and Balance.
No, says the witch. This is very very wrong. This is not in balance. This must be fixed.
I”m good at some of the more controversial spells; Curses, Hexes, Banishing, etc. I can get nasty people out of someone’s life quickly, sometimes with a modicum of difficulty, but usually within 3-6 months they’re totally gone and my client can begin the work of rebuilding their life from a better emotional place.
Where I really shine, dubiously enough, is Love & Lust Spell-work. Hooo boy, have I got stories I could tell!
Things I didn’t even realize were spells that worked great! Until they wore off and blew up in my face. Or for other people, who later found out that the person they wanted me to get them wasn’t as hot shit as they had thought. I thought my abusive ex was part of a manifested love spell, which is partly why I stayed with him as long as I did; I asked “make him totally different from what i’m used to”, and he certainly was… A Summer Romance spell manifested for me a lover who came into my life in June and was gone by September. The sex was great and exactly what I needed to help get my groove back . After that fizzled, I used magic to help me find my Someone Just For Me, and I am now married to that person and the alchemy is perfect. Alchemy, not chemistry b/c the end result is Gold where there once was Lead. Chemistry is just a bunch of explosions and smoke. (I failed chemistry twice in high school, so that may be a factor.)
And just like Curse-Shaming is a live and well in the pagan communities, so is Love Spell Shaming. When working a manipulative spell to break up a relationship is considered on-par with rape, then I really have a hard time accepting that I”m really freaking good at conjuring up a hot date for someone.
The way I work my spells, there’s always a loophole. IF the target person is not already somewhat attracted to the client, then the spell WON’T WORK. At all. And if the target person is already in a relationship with someone else, I will tell the client in no uncertain terms that no good can come from this. Usually that’s enough to get them to go away, but then I’m killing a potential client-relationship. To the point where I just don’t even advertise that part of my skill set.
Maybe I should, tho. Maybe I should just get it out there that I know how to use magic to get someone what, or who, they want, for good or for bad. Maybe my trying to save people from the pain and heartache of a lust spell gone too strong is keeping them from learning an important lesson, like I had to learn. I want to help people by saving them from pain and suffering, but that’s pretty much how humans learn to be human. Anything else is cheating.
“This love spell will get you what you want. Are you SURE this is what you want to do?”
“Yes! I want this person so much!”
“Ok… but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
Maybe I should get the spell consent in writing.
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.)
Where do my loyalties lie?
ARE my loyalties just a lie?
Am I more loyal to my parents or to myself? or the IDEAS of my parents and myself. Is this even my TRUE self I’m trying to assuage or is it the False Self I’ve spent a lifeime cultivating and hiding behind to the point where I don’t know which is which?
Does being loyal mean mindlessly serving something that you have sworn yourself to, regardles sof the pressing evidence to jump ship while possible? Is this a temporaary storm or have I just been tossed around for so long that it’s become normal?
Do I stay or do i go? Do I get out while i still can and turn my back just like those before me have? Do I drive that nail into my mother’s coffin? Or have I been tasked with a force too great for one person to endure and I have the right to put it down before it crushes me?
I’m just gong to spin my wheels some more and do some Anxiety Donuts a bit longer….
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
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.
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.
Ever notice how when the Universe wants to tell you something, the synchronicities become more and more obvious until your thick human brain picks up on the fact?
Here’s a prime example – Pictured here are the three most recent physical books I’ve been reading over the past few months. I start reading books all the time and rarely finish the non-fiction ones. Of these three, Icelandic Magic is the only one I’ve read all the way through. In addition to avid reading , I have a collection of audiobooks for the hour+ long daily drive to work through Quabbin Nature Preserve. Currently , I’m listening to Naamah’s Kiss by Jacqueline Carey , which tells the story of a young woman born from a forgotten Bear goddess worshipping forest people and a breed of humans directly descended from Angels, who is searching for her destiny. I’ve been getting a lot of strong Pop Culture Pagan feels from this one but that’s for another post.
The red book is about the Icelandic Magical Staves and how to utilize them, or make one’s own. The yellow book is about ecstatic trance poses and how the author used them to ‘uncover missing myths’ about the Norse goddesses. Even if it’s technically fanfiction, it’s a great read and gets my mind working. The blue book is an intellectual, historical, and practical looks at shamanic practices throughout the world, Northern European in particular bc they survived longer into the Christian age and have a ton of archeological validity. All of the books encourage an open mind and heart towards Norse heathenry and make it point to say “This is for everyone, everywhere.”
Shamanic journey has been an intellectual passion of mine since I can remember, but due to various reasons is something to which I have no formal training and only rudementary experience. There’s a shamanic group a few towns over that I want to meet, if I can kick myself into gear & save up for lessons. I’ve also been working on sigils this week and utilizing the Icelandic magical stave for finding one’s direction in life. I acquired The Norse Shaman last week and started reading it last night. A few nights ago, I had two dreams involving bears, and yesterday I saw a juvenile black bear on my morning commute. And just the other day,my Big Sister made a comment about how Anubis (her patron deity) has always liked me, which I knew but it’s always nice to hear it from His priestess.
So I happened to glance at the back covers of these books and I noticed some similarities…
I’ll give you a moment . ….
See it yet?
I’m not certain if these all came from the same publisher in Rochester, Vermont under different departments or whatever, but… all of them are printed using solar power, support the HaciendaRioCote reforestation project, and the publishers icons are…Anubis, a bear, and Destiny.
I’m just a thick-headed human and now that I have the message, it’s up to me to actually do something about it .