Spellcaster Confidential

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , , ,

Professional spellcasters are in a unique position.  First, we're able to be helpful in a way that other social guides can't be.  Many of us are also trained in other methods to help our clients, including counseling skills, to offer a more holistic approach to the client's issue.  Yet because of the nature of our work of giving non-tangible resources and assistance in a world expecting physical goods in exchange for physical pay, we are often viewed with suspicion.

Our work is different than other markets and so requires a unique approach.  Our clients are often the disenfranchised people of society.  Troubles are heavy on the person who comes seeking a professional spellcaster and oftentimes they have ideas--based on varying levels of actual knowledge--on what is causing their misfortune, voiced possibly for the first time to one they expect to be wholly sympathetic, regardless of validity.

Sadly, this combination breeds confusion, irritation, and respect issues.  Without proper and accepted guidelines for our interactions, we often find out the hard way that we're lacking in necessary boundaries.  It pains me to think of the number of clients who have stepped past my line for lack of understanding that I try to be more professional and less personal than other casters they had previously hired.  It's not because I don't like a person; it's that I want them to take back their life the very instant I'm done fixing it.

As you can imagine, when all this comes together with the unpredictable public, a caster stands to interact with quite a number of interesting characters.  Sometimes it's amusing, sometimes painfully aggravating, sometimes I hang up the phone and just flop on the couch, hoping that no one asks anything from me for the next 8 hours.

What follows is some of the true stories of my years as a professional spellcaster.  Names and identifying details, of course, have been changed to protect the privacy of my clients.  Naturally, many of these are so common to the job that if you also cast for pay, you've been there and handled them based on your own levels of patience.   As this is a confidential article, my answers in the moment were much more tactful than what's here, but I guarantee this is what was going through my mind.

"Stop sabotaging my work!"

Oh dear, how awful it feels to want to say this!  It's as though everything was going just fine until the client shows up.  How can that be?  It's their life--don't they automatically want what's best for themselves?  Well, no, not always.  Some folks are so bogged down in months or years of the bad that they're totally shocked by the good.  They run from it, shun it, and do everything they can to get back to that old familiar misery.  Weird, I know.

What comes first to memory was a separation spell I did for a woman who was utterly done with her freeloading boyfriend.  Linda and Bill had been together for only a short time before he'd worked his way into taking his share of her life and giving back nothing.  He moved into her home and used her money for all his expenses.  Being the caretaker-type, she put up with it.  When she had finally had enough, she came to me.

We decided on a straightforward separation to make Bill leave without trouble.  Two days later, Linda came home to him walking out the door, arms full of suitcases.  Bill was ready to just disappear without a word and without a thought for what he would do next.  That should have been that, but instead she collapsed on him and begged him to stay.

When she told me I was caught between rolling my eyes and wanting to choke her.  We were so close, and then she undid all my hard work!

Another incident was a love spell in the other direction.  A lovelorn young man was hopelessly smitten over Jessica, the local beauty who barely knew he existed.  He'd tried everything to get her attention to no avail.  He wanted her to be as crazy about him as he was about her.  So I gave him not only a powerful love spell but also plenty of advice on how to play it cool so she'd give chase.  I felt like it was in the bag.

Little hints showed improvement from the spell but instead of heeding my advice, he hounded on her with twice as much enthusiasm.  She was disgusted.  I worked and worked to no avail.  He was determined to prove that Jessica would only respond to his insistent pressure.   It didn't matter to him that he was making things much worse.  In the end, as things were getting on the obsessive side, I was only too glad to leave this train wreck behind.

"This isn't a forever thing."

This one seems to happen all too often, to myself and other casters I've talked to about their clients.  What is the nicest way to say "You don't have me on retainer"?

That's right, one spell cast and suddenly they're e-mailing you every day about the minutiae of the spell's outcome, dreams they had about the situation, conversations with other people, worries, possible roadblocks in the future...on and on.  Do you really believe that I--or anyone else, for that matter--could cast one spell and you whole life would be perfect forever?  Did you think that's what you paid me to do?  Or are you just enjoying having someone at your beck and call?

Devin was a good guy but with a terrible habit of assuming that I have nothing else going on in my life.  Several times I had to talk him down from the anxiety he'd spun himself into over a simple spell I'd worked for him to protect him from the law.  He was, as they say, as jumpy as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  Every little change or unfamiliar sound, every new neighbor or stranger walking his dog, terrified him.  And so he wrote me.  All the time.

It didn't seem to matter that the danger had passed, that no one was actually doing anything to threaten him or his future.  In fact, it seemed like he was being well left alone.  Just to be sure, however, I agreed to add on some more work--new formulas, a talisman or two, some charms for him to recite if things looked grim, and protections for his home.  By this point, he'd racked up quite a bill, but he just couldn't make the jump back into the lead role in his own life.  He had grown painfully, insufferably attached to having me as his adviser.  I couldn't take it anymore.  I did my best for him for several months but in the end, I told him that our time together was over and stopped answering his letters.

Devin wasn't actually in need of magic.  That's usually what you discover with clingy types like that.  What they need is security and a social base that can provide it.  That's rather tragic, but at least I can say that my work didn't fail him.

Another client had a particular idea of spells lasting forever, and it was one that I found equal parts horrible and hilarious.

James was terrified that his now emotionally-distant wife was soon going to leave him.  With visions of all the younger, richer men she must surely be seeing behind his back, he needed a spell to keep her at home with him where he was sure she belonged.  So I did a strong commanding spell to hold her tight to her husband and be loving towards him.  And she stayed and was good to him.  Everything seemed like it was their first year of marriage...for a while.  After s few weeks of blissful union, she left James and she didn't come back.

What I didn't know (and what he neglected to mention somehow) was that James was a lousy husband.  Oblivious to her needs, there were no hugs or kisses, no "I love you's".  Disconnected from her physically and emotionally, he couldn't be bothered with even acknowledging her on her birthdays.  It's no wonder she wanted out.

James' wife did indeed respond to the spell, but it was never reinforced with the kind of behavior that would make her want to stick around afterwards.  Love spells can get things moving, can inspire feelings, can drive the passions, but it is you and your day-to-day actions that will make those things last.  The only way I could have made this marriage work for him was if I cast spells continuously on his wife, resubmitting every day an image of him in her mind that simply wasn't real.  That I won't do to anyone.  She deserved to get away from him and make a new start with someone who cared.  I hope she did.

"If You're So Great, Why are You Asking for My Help?"

This is an old favorite.  I've met many casters over the years and a good deal of them are braggarts.  In some respects, you can't really blame us.  This is a business that is perfect for the big ego: fixing huge problems, garnering the respect of others, doing what seemed impossible, and using arcane wisdom to accomplish it.  The magical community has some real big-mouths and they all want you to know they're great.

And that's just fine as long as no one ever calls your bluff.

That's just what happened about 15 years ago to an occultist extraordinaire I met through a newbie I knew in the area.  She called me with exciting news of having met someone so wonderful, brilliant, and talented that she was certain I would just adore him.  They'd met online where she was bowled over by his genius.  I rolled my eyes in a way that you do when you're on the phone and not in person.  I did agree to meet him, though, just in case my eye roll was premature.  It was not.

When I talked to him--or rather when I sat in his audience, considering that one could not get a word in edgewise with this guy--he spoke in a long, rambling way about all the vaguely metaphysical things he studied.  Every one of those things were what we now term UPG (Unverified Personal Gnosis).  He didn't believe in reading books or learning from teachers.  I guess you could say that listening was just not his thing.  He would ask questions and then interrupt your answers to speak for you.  He offered, unasked, to read my thoughts.  He bragged about meeting a psychic dog.  He said that he already knew me better than I knew myself.  His attitude was patronizing and self-absorbed.  In short, he was an asshole.

So I left and refused to talk to him anymore, even lessening my time around our intermediary who still thought the sun rose and set upon this creep.  Then the day came about a month later when I got a phone call with both of them on the line.  Would I please help him out of a jam?

Now this is where I should have said no.  I should have made fun of him for not being able to handle his own life despite his constant claims of being the biggest name in magic since Aleister Crowley.  I should have.  But I didn't.  Instead, I helped.  And I did it so that I could rub his face in it later.  (Hey, I never said I was a saint!)

And that is just what happened.  It was very little effort on my part, but the rewards felt especially decadent.  He needed a place to live as he was getting kicked out of his old place and had nowhere to go.  He wanted to move in with the newbie who had introduced us, but there were hindrances preventing it.  It was quite simple: remove the blocks that prevented the move and change the minds set against his arrival.  I originally told him to just use a push, to which he admitted knowing nothing about that.  I explained in detail, and he was shocked that such a thing could be done.  Another eye-roll.

It was probably a week after I cast the spell for him and the way was all smooth for him to move in.  He seemed in a state of shock when he told me how wonderfully the situation had changed.  "Everything just sort of happened.  It was like..."  I finished his trailing thought, "Like magic?" "Yes!" he replied, almost exploding the word.  I got the distinct feeling that for all his talk about the occult, this was his first actual interaction with it.  It was a freebie I gave him to teach a lesson, to open his eyes, and--most definitely--to shut his mouth.  All of those things were accomplished.  From that point until our final parting soon after, there was a distinct change in his attitude toward me.  Gone were the days of endless bragging; instead, he was meek and quiet, chastened.   I enjoyed it immensely!

"There are Reasons that I Don't Work for Free and I'm Not in Competition with Those who Do"

This one is an ongoing issue, but the key is being firm.  Not all practitioners are the same, not everyone abides by the same rules, and not everyone feels the same way about getting paid.  Some witches abhor the idea of exchanging magic for money, others insist that you give your cash to a charity instead; or you can give your caster items in lieu of legal tender; and then there's me and my kind--pay me in whatever way we both agree upon.  Sometimes I do barter, other times it's straight cash, occasionally I'll do a kindness with no strings attached for those in a desperate situation.  Just do us both a favor--expect to pay and be surprised if we end up arriving at some other plan.

I recently got a phone call from a local woman pleading for help.  She was in all kinds of (unspecified) legal trouble and knew that only magic could save her from jail.  We had never met before, I knew nothing of her exact situation, and there was no reason for me to suppose that she wasn't guilty of the charge against her.  It's not that any of that would have changed my mind on helping her, only that it made me disinterested in doing it for free.  So I calmed her as best I could and explained my fees.  She thanked me and promised to call back.  That call never arrived.

Despite what some might think, this didn't bother me.  She made a decision based on what was best for her.  It might be a calculated risk, forgoing the help she felt was her only savior, and all for the sake of money, but it was her choice to do so.  I get that from time to time, although most folks who come to me already know how the game is played and are fully ready to compensate their caster.  Then there are those who don't know, those who are certain that with the right amount of cajoling and shaming, I can be swayed to do their bidding free of charge.  I'm sure you know how well that turns out!

Susan contacted me through a witchcraft message board where we were both members.  She had a simple proposition: cast a spell for her that she was too busy to cast for herself.  She was, naturally, a witch of much experience and many years in the craft, but at the moment, so short on time that she was forced to outsource.  I asked what I was to get in return.  "The good karma, of course", was the reply.  I literally laughed out loud.  I explained that I'm not interested in karma and I don't believe it has anything to do with magic.  If she wants something done for her, I'm willing to exchange good for good, but being only a casual acquaintance, I'm not doing it for something I don't want.

That seemed to turn Susan's switch!  Evidently I'm no true Wiccan (well, no, I'm not) to turn away someone in need just to make filthy money.  I should be proud that she chose me.  How could I go against the moral imperative to cast free spells for whomever requires them (I would like to see where any tradition has written this law)?  All the casters who are free, so she said, were certainly better than me.  It was a brief exchange, to say the least.  I told her that as this was my experience, my tools, my time, and my components, the cost was mine as well.  After 15 (at the time) years of constant casting, I reserve the right to name my price.  She quietly ducked out after admitting that she'd never actually cast a spell before.  Good luck to you, Susan, you're gonna need it.

"Just the Facts, Ma'am"

How many thousand occasions have I wanted to say this?  I don't need to know what you thought the other person's reasons are, what your cousin said about the problem, how it affected your cat, your dreams, nor your latest bowel movements.  Just tell me the problem and what you want to happen.

A far-flung family member who was known for trying to weasel free tarot readings and spells out of me, contacted me out of the blue one day with a conundrum: should he pick Girl A or Girl B.  For some unknown reason, he didn't have enough emotional connection to either one for the answer to be simple.  Also odd was how each girl was willing to wait around for him to pick.  This guy is just not that great, ladies.

So he's telling me about each one, the pros and cons of choosing A over B and vice versa.  I got the distinct feeling that he could just as easily be talking about choosing a new car.  "This one has side airbags but the one on the other lot has a better stereo..."

I began to wonder what he was driving at, but his side of the conversation seemed far from over.  Instead of being patient, however, I found myself just blurting out, "So, what do you want me to do about it?"  I was fully ready to either turn him down or insist on a hefty fee.

"Oh, nothing.  Just telling you what's new."

Huh.  I think that was a first.  To this day, I'm not quite sure if the truth of the matter was that he was too surprised to say what he really expected or if he had, in fact, called me for the first time ever just to make conversation and not to get some freebies.  What do you think?

If you, too, have been in the strange position of being a customer’s therapist, nanny, and mafia hitman, you know just what I’ve been talking about.  The work of a professional spellcaster is not a simple one. For those of us who do this job, it’s rewarding in a way unmeasurable and frustrating in a way that seems to only increase its value. 



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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 QuillsOccultSupply.Etsy.com) 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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