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.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
RuneSoup Podcast Interview

Deborah Castellano and Gordon White talk ritual, death customs, learning magic by doing magic and -of course- glamour in the twenty first century.

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Autumnal Tasseomancy

Ah, fall!  The time to do as our inherited Puritan (women) ancestors would do – drink excessively, wear some scarlet petticoats/yoga pants and invite our besties over to do some divination that we will all swear each other to secrecy about.  While Tarot was possible for our Puritan sisters, it was a lot more likely you’d get ratted out by your father/husband/brother for doing that.  No, instead you needed to keep it casual like you were just kicking back for some competitive Bible reading with your BFF.   So let’s get into the exciting world of Tasseomancy, also known as tea leaf reading!

The first thing you ideally need to do here is to pick out a teacup and saucer.  You could use a mug, but let’s get a little drama here.  If you don’t have one, a thrift shop is the perfect place to get one.  Select a loose leaf tea for your reading, I recommend something dark and juicy.  Put a teaspoon of tea at the bottom of the cup and pour boiling water over it.  Let it cool.  Drink the tea while not eating the leaves (it’s a little tricky, but with practice it’s doable).  While you are drinking your tea and holding your cup in your hand, think about whatever questions you have about the next year.  It may be easier for you to read your friend and for your friend to read you when starting out, so swap cups once you’re finished.  Point the teacup’s handle towards yourself.  Imagine the teacup divided into twelve segments like a clock.  The segment closest to the left side of the teacup is one month into the future and it goes around until you’re back at the handle at 12 months into the future.  Look at the tea leaves.  Do any of them look like a shape or symbol?  A heart or a number, perhaps?  Interpret the symbol however feels right to you.  A boat may mean a trip or journey for instance.  Don’t be afraid to be creative with it!  Tea leaves closer to the top of the rim means that symbol may be more important.  Take notes and see what comes to pass!

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[The Rules of Exile] Rule No. 5: Always Be a Supplicant

One of the most difficult parts of exile is that it's not always voluntary.  When you are not presently exiled, it's easy to tell yourself that because everything is awesome in your life, everything is awesome in everyone else's life.  No one is forced to stay in marriages they don't want to be in, everyone's workplace is a joy, money is something that is easily obtained along with good, healthy food, no one is ever forced to bare their necks to someone who wields power over them in the interest of survival.  This is the 21st century, after all!  If you don't like something, why just leave!  If you were actually good at being a Queen, certainly there is always a job for you, family can help support you and there's never, ever a reason to grit your teeth and stick out something you don't want to do for either a greater cause or simply to survive.

Even I am not immune to this in my exile.  The moment you put me in a seminar and we are asked to talk about our workplace difficulties, that is everyone's immediate response. Except for the instructors who have seen enough hot messes to know that "you need to look for another position immediately!!1111!!!" is a stupid response to someone whose position is part of a dying field when they are currently making decent money and have good benefits.  It is such a 1986 bullshit privileged thing to say to a person about work or home life decisions that I immediately lose respect for the other person when it's said.  Like, zomgoats, Betsy!  Thank god you have distilled my incredibly nuanced problems at work and/or home down to such an easily managed proposition that I totally have not thought of!  I would have never ever thought of leaving if you didn't point out to me that that's an option!  You are such a god send.  Nay, savior.

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Hexing as Social Change

I've had a few requests for hex work to work against Nazis, specifically Italian-American hex work.  I recently consulted Mallorie Vaudoise about this because I wanted to be sure that since this is such a delicate matter that I had a second opinion on the issue.  

  1. Make sure you actually want to tie yourself up into hex work.  Yes!  It's much more exciting on a Thursday night after a long shitty day to involve yourself in the Dark Arts than to fundraise for non profits you support.  But (a) that doesn't mean you are good at hex work and (b) if you are better at fundraising than hex work, you should do fundraising.  Think about your skill sets.  Think about your previous hex work experience and the results of that work.  Think about your moral compass, as we've spoken about w/r/t the Dark Arts extensively. Are you better at writing, organizing, rallying or managing your non profit's finances ( . . .because everyone can throw a hex.  Not everyone is a CPA.  Or a lawyer.  Niche skills are suuuuuper important right now) rather than hexing?  Do that thing.  Is your moral compass queasy about actually completing this?  Um, don't do it.  Donate money, organize a bake sale, call your representatives a million times a day, do something.  Be productive.  
  2. If you are going to protest at a Nazi rally, be careful above everything else.  Then, pick some key players who seem to be figure heads and throw the malocchia back at them.  Because they are throwing the Evil Eye out to the world first.  You can throw it right back, return to sender.  Say that person's name, summon up your will and literally take all that hateful energy that person is building and throw it right back at them with your eyes.  Stare them down.  If you want to really be overt, spit on the ground after you throw it back.
  3. If you want to do some work at home, chose some ancestors who are against Nazis and/or spirits and goddesses who are against the systematic genocide of a people and/or a Mary (Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Sorrows, whomever your Mary is) of your choice who you have a relationship with already.  Your Lady of Peace may be willing to throw down because of your relationship and the greater good for the world, but if you don't have a relationship it's like a stranger asking you to get into a boxing match for them.  You are really not likely to do so.  Pour everyone a glass of red wine, yourself included.  If someone doesn't drink, Pellegrino would work nicely.  Get some pastries from an Italian bakery.  If you don't have an Italian bakery, make coffee cake.  Eat and drink with your ancestors/Marys/goddesses/spirits.  Catch up.  Talk about world events, tell them who died, who got knocked up, whose kid is still a f*ck up, the usual.  When you feel their presence, play an Italian antifascist song to get everyone's (ahem) spirits up.  Mallorie recommends this one.  Ask for their assistance and then throw your curse.  You may be saying, but what do I say?  You have to sleep at night with what you throw, so that's up to you, sport.  Speak from the heart and be concise.  
  4. Draw an omen and then go from there.

 

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Dear #QueensInExile,

This has been a really hard week, right? Like a dumpster fire that you can't get the smell out of your hair from. It's dispiriting and makes it hard to get out of bed. Really hard to get out of bed.

But we have to. We all have to. That's what makes us Queens. We have to fight, we have to organize, we have to hex, we have to keep going. We have to keep going to our day jobs, keep parenting our children, keep paying our bills and it's exhausting.

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Ancestor Work and Our Current Political Climate

 

Huddle up, Charmers.  As many of you know who have followed me for years, I don’t explicitly talk about politics very much.  Usually it’s like putting lipstick on a pig and everyone just gets annoyed.  If you’ve been following me that long, you know whereabouts I stand on many issues and know that I do my best to be respectful of dissenting opinions.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    While stupid shit was going down in Charlottesville down the road here in Richmond we had a Jazz festival and a Filipino food fest
Fix Your Situation: Get a Girl (Pinterest Edition)


So like everything we discuss, you don't have to be a girl to get a girl.  We're gonna get real meta here and go a step further: your girl doesn't even have to be a girl. But you need a girl.  She won't be one person, this isn't Downton Abbey.  She'll be more like a team of girls - your Sephora girl (mine is Alex), your hair girl (mine is Justine), a cosmetics girl when you have to have your situation in order (mine is Michelle), your yoga girl (mine is Jennifer), your girl for seamstress issues (I'm in between currently, but they generally do your dry cleaning too), your girl for cobbling issues (mine is a dude), your girl for your diet issues (mine is Sarah) and so on and so forth.  You need a team of experts who you can go to and whine that you don't know how to use highlighter/don't know how red your hair should be/slap fake eyelashes on you/fix your inherited Manolos when you wore them places where they don't belong/get your Warrior pose correct/engage in psychological warfare with when you are not magically six weeks in because you are being half assed because it is rosé season.  Get a team established.  It sounds terrifying and expensive but it really isn't once you get in there.  Most of these things ultimately save you money and aren't a high upfront cost.  You could keep buying red lipsticks at the drug store on sale at $8 a pop and not getting it right, or you could ask a girl and spend $18 and not need to buy three you will never wear again.  Three = $24.  One = $18.  

But we all have problems that are more minor than even the above but we still somehow haven't found the solution to.   This is when you enlist a (cyber) girl.  There are many bloggers whose whole joie de vivre is to come up with solutions to these problems and then go forth and share them with the masses through Pinterest.  They are often (though not always) Hipster Mormon Mommy bloggers who are generally living the (caffeine-free) Instagram dream.  All you have to do is type in what you need in the oracular search bar and a whole huge canvas of solutions will appear before your very eyes.  If that's not actual witchcraft, I frankly do not know what is.

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