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.

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Be the Final Girl for 2017

Jow has coined a phrase to describe the women in my family on my mom's side when we are feeling feelings and can't quite articulate them so these feelings are subverted into a frenzy state that is about something else all together.  He calls it Hummel Crazy.  He calls it Hummel crazy because my mother collects Hummels, those weird little Germanic children figurines.  Note that my mother is not at all German.  At all.  So, Jow's mom came over to meet my mom when we were engaged and my mom wanted to show Jow's mom her Hummel collection . . . like the peoples do I guess.  She can't find her most prized Hummel and immediately begins to tear the house apart in front of Jow's mom like a goddamn werewolf looking for it.  She regains her composure for the rest of the visit after the house has been shredded, but continues to turn the house upside down for the next three days until said Hummel is turned up.

Hummel Crazy is a terrifying state for observers that shows our tenacity, our determination, our grit but also our obvious psychosis that is being put on display.  I have finally reached that state this Yuletide in all my matriarchal lineage's glory.  

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Is Your Witchcraft Subversive?

Jow: What will you ask for?

Me: To live deliciously, I guess?

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On Passing

Let's talk about a fun topic. Let's talk about passing. Historically, it has meant that if you looked white and could pass as white, you would take that power and hide your actual racial background.

In this political climate and in this modern age, passing can mean a lot more. It can mean not wearing jewelry that indicates you're of a minority religion. It can mean not choosing to date a same sex partner if you are pansexual/bisexual or to be closeted about it. It could mean not being as open poly or kinky. It can mean stfu'ing about feminist issues such as abortion access. (A side note, since the election I feel like all I do is yell, WITCHCRAFT AND ALSO ABORTIONS)

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Down at the Crossroads Podcast Interview

Chris and Tara interview me about my completely uncool Witchcraft origin story, my persistence in shaming my mother by calling us a family of Ferengi, my insistence in shaming Jow by talking about how I chose to talk to actual Occult elders whenever I could corner them instead of reading a million books, high magic's seductive "fancy dance", glamour magic, witchcraft as activism/activism as witchcraft, my experience as a feminist and pro-choice advocacy and why performing witchcraft with a romantic partner is a sucker's game except in v. specific circumstances.

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When the World Turns Sideways

This morning, I woke up early to go to a seminar for work.  I stumbled into the bathroom to brush my teeth with Jow trailing behind me.  We’re making little dumb barely awake jokes at each other, but I know by his face and his tone that the news isn’t good.  But still, we talk around our toothbrushes and I want to keep this moment a little longer before I feel that death drop of the world rearranging itself out from under me.

I haven’t talked about politics too much here.  I mean, you know I’m a feminist so it’s not that hard to extrapolate the vague positioning.  Ever since I wrote about Disney, my mother, being adopted and Tangled on Witches & Pagans and I was accused of being a kidnapper sympathizer in the comments (among other things), I’ve been really leary of polarizing topics.

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A Mabon for the Moirai

The Moirai have been circling me for quite some time.  Maybe because I find them soothing (though overwhelming) instead of scary, maybe because of the spinning I do on my spindle and wheel, maybe because they are actually how I make sense of the world or maybe we just relate to the world somewhat similarly - that we are more What We Do than anything else.  It was really sealed for me two Philly Pagan Prides ago when I saw three blond (fairly identical) teenagers walking through the park together, unconsciously looking like that slow walk entrance scene in every teen movie ever.  And I suddenly thought to myself, what if that's what the Fates really look like?  Perfect, with zero fucks to give?  Holy shit that's terrifying.  My Lachesis (the measurer) had a whimsical thought while at the shore – what if the Fates went on vacation?  They would dutifully sun for a few hours before they all glanced at each other and silently agreed to do what they love – Clothos gleefully spinning cotton candy, Lachesis bellowing for people to let her guess their age and height, Atropos simply turning herself into a cat and eating every mouse that had the misfortune to make her acquaintance under the boardwalk.

 

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Glamour & The Dark Part of the Woods

Once upon a time, there was a girl.  We all know her.  She liked to get into cars with boys, she stayed out too late, she looked out for her own interests, she drank, she smoked, she danced on tables, she wore clothes that revealed just a little too much, she didn't play by the rules and she did all the things that nice girls didn't do.   She was the life of the party, girls wanted to be her and boys wanted to be with her.  She left a trail of jealousy and broken hearts in her wake and she never looked back at any of it while anyone could see her.  She only looked forward.

How could this be?  How could a girl who didn't play nicely with other girls (or boys for the matter) be allowed to prosper, thrive and become successful?  She's not following the unspoken rule that we have all agreed to - you are to aspire to become a princess from your shitty peasant life.  Not a queen.  A princess.  You are allowed to be lifted up (preferably by a man) that high.  And only if you are nice.  Only if you never ever hurt anyone's feelings and you say sorry when you do.  Even if they deserved it.  Especially if they deserved it.  Only if you attribute all of your success to others.  Only if you have never done anything at all questionable to get to be a princess.  You are allowed to be raised from the muck of your squalor to princess where you will smile, you will wave, you will do the things you are supposed to do.  You will not rule or make any kind of decisions that are not for puppies or children and then only if your husband says it's okay.  This is the pact.  This is what we all agreed to at birth.

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