Practical Magic: Glamoury and Tealight Hearths

Charms, Hexes, Weeknight Dinner Recipes, Glamoury and Unsolicited Opinions on Morals and Magic

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Deborah Castellano

Deborah Castellano

Deborah Castellano's book, Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want (Llewellyn, 2017) is available for pre-order: https://www.amazon.com/Glamour-Magic-Witchcraft-Revolution-What/dp/0738750387

She is a frequent contributor to Occult/Pagan sources such as the Llewellyn almanacs, Witchvox, PaganSquare and Witches & Pagans magazine. She writes about Charms, Hexes, Weeknight Dinner Recipes, Glamoury and Unsolicited Opinions on Morals and Magic at Charmed, I'm Sure.

Deborah's book, The Arte of Glamour is available for purchase on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid and The Crow (www.mermaidandcrow.com) specializes in goddess & god vigil candles, hand blended ritual oils, airy hand dyed scarves, handspun yarn and other goodies.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their two cats. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.
You Don’t Owe the World Your Glamour

When you perform glamour stylistically and magically, you are thrusting yourself forward.  You are requiring the attention of others – strangers, your goddesses, your spirits, your ancestors, your loved ones, your colleagues and even the goddessdamned Universe Herself.

At first, you’ll be begging to perform.  At first, you give yourself away in pieces for the privilege of working your ass off to get to where you are trying to go.  At first, everyone will be indulgent and graciously allow you the opportunity to whore yourself out for them.

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Harper and Deb Talk Glamour and Bad Girls on Thelema Now!

Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is the latest book from Deborah Castellano. She discusses the book – and well as how to use glamour effectively – with Thelema Now host Harper Feist.

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[Rules of Exile] Rule No. 2: Your Resources Are Limited, Plan Accordingly

 

Everything around me is dying.

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The Scene Is Never What It Used to Be: A Retrospect on Glamour and Steampunk

Can I make some old/femme/goth/steampunk/the-scene-is-never-what-it-used-to-be noises? Back in my day, a hundred years ago when I was the con head for SalonCon, Steampunk was still being defined. Like, to the point that I needed to make my assistant (The Baby) explain what exactly it was, many times. I was interested in Neo-Victoria for many reasons but I also became interested in The Past that Never Was (Steampunk) for many reasons coming from an intersectional feminist standpoint.  Mostly, we became involved in Steampunk because The Baby was interested in it and we couldn't afford to pay her and it was a reasonably easy way to compensate her for all her time and energy.  We wanted her to have a space to enjoy herself as a thank you for her hard work.

This was . . .ten years ago.

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[The Rules of Exile] Rule No. 1: Glamour Isn't Optional, It's Survival.

When I was a nanny, one of the mothers I worked for was easily one of the most beautiful women I had ever met in my life.  It didn't matter what was going on with S., she always had it together.  Her make up was on point, her wardrobe was beautiful and to make it completely unbearable she was also one of the kindest women I had ever known.  Perfectly perfect in every way, as N. would say.  S. had two very small children, she had a career and a social life.

I'm not suggesting that S. was most women.  Obviously, she had some help in her glam squad and her domestic posse, which isn't something most of us have access to.  I worked for other women too with small children and while less blessed than S. (though also as sweet to work for, I was v. blessed as a nanny), also really were on point.  They were career women and would click off to work in their heels, their hair done, their lipstick on and get it done.

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The Ethics of Glamour

It's tax season which is every bit as wretched as you expect it to be.  I'm on my feet for over nine hours a day in the goddamn copy room which is both a safe haven and a prison, depending on the day.  My book doesn't come out until August which feels even farther away the closer we get to it somehow, probably because I could have had a baby and a half in the time I'm sitting on my hands waiting for it to come out.  I mean, I'm trying to get launch events together for when it comes out but I'm like Ali Sheedy in The Breakfast Club dumping her giant purse out all over the table and no one wants to sit by me.  No.  One.

I very nearly had, like, the awesomest event ever put together but we had irreconcilable differences over how the bar tab would be handled.

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Take the Second Bath
It's been a non stop swirl of work and social obligations since the holidaze as we slowly plummet into tax season.  You can imagine my excitement when I would finally have a moment to relax with MamaFran after a weekend of cemetery jaunts because that's just how we do in my family.  Instead I found myself in a panicky headspace in an overly crowded hotel down in Atlantic City.  

We were going from Sunday into Monday and usually that was a promise of light foot traffic and just enough people to make people watching interesting.  I've also been reading Gillian Flynn's books non stop which probably (definitely) wasn't helping any of this.  On an up side to that, if you want to feel fantastic about your relationship, your part in it and your partner(s)' part in it, I cannot recommend reading Gone Girl enough.  The movie is a pale shadow comparatively.  

So, I'm processing the fact that I have to go two hours (without traffic) each way, two completely separate ways to visit my dead people which is hella depressing because it's hard to be in the car that long for a cold trip to the cemetery.  I mean, I got pizza, I got incredibly expensive food from the Italian market, April and I relived our teen lives together by getting lattes and bath bombs and sitting at the food court dishes,  but it was a lot that would be topped off with a fun visit the next day to the military cemetery where my dad is buried.  We used to visit my grandparents' grave when we would visit my uncle but now he's in the ground with them and my grief in the loss of him continues to be overwhelming.  
 
So, obviously, let's drink and gamble.  Because . . .really . . .what else can do you anyway?  I got myself on the list for the club and then promptly got too overwhelmed to go.  I tried to go to my usual haunts there to start writing again, a horse that continues to trample me post-book but they were too crowded, too much for me to manage.  I went back up to our room dejectedly and did a little work and then decided to start a bath in the cave-like tub in the suite.  I did my usual thing I do at home for my glamour bath rites, I put on music and . . .I couldn't f*cking calm down.  And the more I got into an anxiety spiral about it, the crazier I felt.  Who the f*ck freaks out about taking the bath she's been dying to take?  Who!  Who!  Me, apparently.  So . . .then I dropped my phone in the bath. Sh!  Don't tell Jow.  Because his phone randomly stopped working earlier that day and I was yelling at him like a damn fishwife that he better not buy an iPhone 7 which is obviously why I needed to bring some Bewitched bullshit to the party.  I'm hissing, Nonononononono!  F*ck, f*ck, f*ck.  Please work.  Please.  Work.  I jump out of the bath and towel it off.  Obviously, I don't have dry rice because I'm in a freaking hotel.  Luckily, it's been fine since which is why this is how I'm choosing share this with Jow.  People live with secrets all the time/ You've got yours/ I've got mine!   By now I'm shaking like a tiny dog.  I drain the tub.  
I don't know what to do.  
 
Oh.  Yeah.  To celebrate writing again (a start is a start!), I had a double espresso and a french macaroon.  Which helped kick off said panic attack because I was not as good at sugar/caffeine as I thought I was.
 
I go to dinner with my mom where we were surrounded by drunk boys and a long wait.  It's only afterwards when we go for a drink at my favorite place do I actually start to relax and have a good time.  I crap out fast at the craps table (my old tricks don't work like they used to) but get it back on a Wonder Woman slot machine which cheers me.  
 
I read more Gillian Flynn and consider.  Should I take another bath?  My mom would kill me if she knew, it's really wasteful to use that much water.  I had half of bath bomb left.  I floated the idea out to April who was dismayed that I managed to reach a new low as an anxious animal. Immediately, she told me to get my ass back in the tub.  I got the water right, I left my phone on the vanity and I read a magazine and sang along to my Spotify.  I relaxed.  I felt good again.
 
So obviously, in witchcraft, it doesn't always go right.  Rituals get botched, the energy goes askew, you did the ritual and nothing happened or you got to have what we politely call "A Learning Experience" where mistakes were made and others were blamed.  What do you do then, what would a Final Girl do?  Do you give up?  Do you discourage yourself into a downward spiral of self doubt and self blame until you are curled into a ball?  I don't think that's how the Final Girl survives.  I don't think she just impotently flails and cries.  She pulls herself together when something doesn't go to plan and she re-assesses and figures out what to do.  Sometimes really fast.  Really really fast because you know, slashy bad guys are pretty quick and 2017 is starting to figure out your tricks.  2017 is starting to figure out you're the one to watch.  2017 knows that you're coming for it and it's looking for your weak spots, to catch you in that moment.  
 
Take the second bath.  
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