Gigi's First Big Spell (Be Warned--You May Not Agree)

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , ,

Today the bus arrived at the edge of our snowy yard promptly at 3:30 and I expected Gigi to leap promptly through the door and declare herself home from the forced labor camp that is middle school.  Instead she quietly slunk in, with a red face and redder eyes, her shoulders drooping so low I couldn't believe she was still upright.

Somehow this bold, smart, friendly girl had been viciously bullied on the bus.  Now I take the middle-of-the-road approach to school bullies.  One one hand, bullying has happened since the time of the cavemen and continues the be an issue, in one way or another, for adults as well as kids (pushy relatives telling you how to live your life, that jerk who's out to get your job, etc.).  If we're able, standing up to these people can be a real breakthrough.  Can we (should we?) really eradicate something that is old as time and that many accept as part of learning one's own strength?  On the other hand, bullying is a painful, unnecessary expression of pointless hate (or repressed desire, jealousy, fear, etc.).  How can we pretend that isn't a problem?  How can we accept it without showing our kids that we condone them becoming victims...or monsters?

Like any mother seeing her child hurt by another, I was ready for blood.  While I simmered, Gigi's dad sensibly called the school to let them know what happened. I probed Gigi for more information: no, it wasn't provoked; yes, others saw and they can be trusted to tell the truth if asked; yes, the bus driver saw but, no, it didn't make her stop.  It had begun with the other girl calling names and shrieking  (can you believe this??) "You're a witch!"  Gigi did as I said before and ignored her, but it only escalated now that she wasn't getting any reaction.  It ended with the girl taking scissors from her bag and trying to cut off Gigi's hair.  Hearing that, I wanted to march right over to that girl's house and shave her head bald and her mother's too, for good measure!

Gigi was upset for quite a while and especially embarrassed at having cried in front of older kids.  I explained things as best I could about how embarrassing things happen to everyone and that, to others, we usually don't look as bad as we think we do.  "It'll fade away and pretty soon, no one will remember a thing about it," I said.  But is that so?  Did it feel like that to me when I was her age?  My optimistic "mom talk" wasn't working.  I needed stronger medicine.  I needed magic.

Up until now (read Dreams and Curses), Gigi has learned and long worked with little magic -- healing, rain making, etc. -- and mostly in her own way, not formulated spells.  It has been time, in my estimation, to begin the work in earnest but it's been slow going without a clear focus to begin.  Was this a good focus?  Can curses properly propel a magical career?

In the end, it's up to every parent, teacher, guide, whathaveyou, to determine when the student is ready and how best to help them cross into the magical life.  If it "takes", great.  If not, try again another time, another way and hope for better success.  Some may disagree with my methods but the timing couldn't have been better.  She was totally ready.

I went to my work room and picked out my favorite spellbook.  Gigi sat sniffling on the couch as I opened the heavy book and sat it between us.  "Now, we're gonna fix this," I said.  "And we're gonna fix her, too!"

We looked through all sorts of curses, Gigi asked questions and I explained, we talked about herbs with bizarre properties, we cracked jokes and cackled at our own wickedness.  I looked at Gigi and her eyes weren't red anymore.  Her body was relaxed but her face was alive with curiosity.

We worked magic together--mother and child, fighting fire with fire.  Our visualizations fed one another, our chanting blending perfectly, growing rich and deep.  The candles burned brightly and reflected in her eyes, her smile.  I talked about having faith in the work because you put your all into it, and about letting that power unfold in its own way because it's on your side and knows just what to do.  I told her of the importance of faith in yourself because you will be the only one certain to always be there for you.  She sat up straight and looked proud, listening more intently than I've seen since she was a wee little girl and thought mommy was a genius.  The work done, we laughed and relaxed.  We washed our hands in special salts and had a hug before bed.  She fell asleep calmly, breathing deeply.

This isn't over and there are things yet to happen between me, this girl's parents, and the school.  But what happens next rests largely on what we did tonight.  There will be no "getting away with it" and no similar events in the future.  But, best of all, what this taught Gigi isn't over and never will be.  She's tougher than any opponent because she's got the will to be.  If it takes a little revenge to teach her that, then I say it's worth it.

Who says that black magic only brings sorrow?  All magic is done for the betterment of someone, somewhere.  The better is here and now--mother, daughter, partners and protectors.  The worse is with our enemies.  What they have asked for, they now receive.  Who are we to deny such a fervent request?

It's the Holidays--Let's Toil for Joy!

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , , ,

German imports!  :)
Ending the year well is never an easy task.  Maybe that's why I always stuff so much work into the month of December.  The effort I generally put into my home-life was rewarded with more hard work, preparing for our always massive celebration of Yule.  Though work it was--and with the same stress-inducing capability as any other--it was happy work filled with the pleasure of abundance.  Our table was as full as our house and everywhere were lights, music, and food.  Because this was a very special year (my brother and sister-in-law were visiting from Germany for the holidays), I was inspired to do even more!  I'm not terribly good at buying presents but I love to put on a party!

Me and enough dinner for 20 people. Instead, I served 7.  lol

Our ritual celebration is, by sharp contrast, almost quiet.  We rung in the longest night with a blazing fire in the cauldron, which in turn began the lighting of our annual handmade Yule log.  The blessings of each of the coming year's 12 months were invoked, one by one, and the whole of it was admired when it was all aglow with as much fondness as I believe we'll look on 2013 when it's all over in December.  An always raucous retelling of the story of Mother Berchta (delightlfully overacted, in our home, as a play with costumes) lightened the mood and we all enjoyed a little chaos within the well-worn boundaries of our ritual, our family, our home, our season. 

There is a business to big holidays, one that must be overseen with care and lots of effort.  But there really is nothing better than toiling for later joy--yours and others.  In baking, there is a sense of the pleasure of eating; in hanging decorations, the elation of a dark house glowing with lights and cheer; in making or buying presents, the excitement of opening them.  Those who put on such affairs do so because they can enjoy the preparation as though the day of its unwrapping had come.  And the more paper you put onto the big present of a holiday, the more there is to take off when it comes.  Putting on all those details can be quite a big job (or, rather, what seems like hundreds of little jobs!) but there is pleasure to be had in the work of it, if you're looking right.
Lit on Yule, the Log will be burned with the
tree at the end of the season and the
candles burned in turn on their month.

That's how I feel about my shop.  I have many projects already in place in my life (and, honestly, I always have.  It is my habit to celebrate the completion of one thing by taking on two more) and I don't always manage a perfect balance or keep a perfect schedule, but I love the process of trying.  The spark of an idea, piecing it all together, exploring options and interesting twists, seeing it complete and ready to meet the world ... each time I take on work--be it restocking, making custom items, or completely new listings--there is the pleasure of knowing that someone somewhere will see it as just the thing that they've been looking for.  

And now that we've entered the New Year and the busy season is waning, I see all the work yet to be done.  New items for you to view at your leisure from the virtual shelves of my shop, but also a great deal of magic that has been waiting.  As a professional witch, I do a lot of magic for others--sometimes purely because it needs done and not because I'm being paid.  I know it is against the morality of some folks but I cast spells for others unawares just as part of my practice.  If I'm planning two spells for this moon sign, what's one more?  It's good practice for me and a benefit to those I care about. 

This month I'm working on three (and it may be you!)-- a better business spell, a healing, and some money luck.  Each of the recipients knows well what I do, all could very much use a hand, but none asked for it outright.  To me the issue is a simple one.  It's raining and I've got two umbrellas; must I wait until you notice me standing there and call my name through the downpour?  Or may I just pop it open, hold it out for you, and go on my way?  It's still up to you to take it to shelter yourself.  It's still your job to walk to you destination.  My one act of generosity didn't turn you into an infant who can no longer help himself, nor did it ruin any lessons to be learned from your plight.  Maybe it taught you something that can be hard to learn--that sometimes people do nice things just because they wanted to do them.
Remember, Random Acts of Kindness Day is February 17

Maybe this, too, is a sort of toiling for joy.  There's little practical aid I can offer in the circumstances of these three people.  I'm no doctor and while feeling moderately secure financially, I haven't got what it takes to invest in a business nor to keep another's household afloat.  But I can offer magic and even when I'm busy and have work of my own to be done I can work for their causes as well.  And it makes me happy as any holiday--hectic but accomplished in the business of sharing joy.

About Me

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My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

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