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 is featured in the 2015 Llewellyn Herbal Almanac. She is a frequent contributor to Occult/Pagan sources such as Witchvox, PaganSquare and Witches&Pagans magazine.

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 Hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers, euphorically scented mason jar beeswax candles, tempting small batch ritual oils, Dream Ambassadors (tiny sheep to help you sleep!), lofty unique nuno felted scarves, airy hand painted silk chiffon scarves and more.

Her Craft shop, The Glamoury Apothecary (www.etsy.com/shop/glamouryapothecary) specializes in handcrafted Occult and Magical items such as gods and goddesses vigil candles, loose incense and hand rolled chime candles.
Voluntary Austerities: Boys Only Want Love If It's Torture

Before we get into Austerity and Glamour, you all know that an austerity is only an austerity if it’s voluntary, right?  At least, spiritually speaking.   If you are currently living off of food stamps, that’s not really a spiritually goal-oriented austerity so much as a life circumstance.  Being on food stamps and choosing to give up caffeine to add extra oomph to magically accomplishing your goals would count.

The voluntary aspect is really critical to spiritual austerity, it’s what gives your tapas their heat.  Austerity, if done correctly, is sort of like going to the gym.  You know how supportive everyone is for your first month?  You know how no one gives a shit about it by month two?  You’re going to the gym at that point for your own reasons.  You’re not getting all of those delicious praise cakes anymore, you may have plateaued on your weight loss for the moment, you may still not be able to run on a treadmill.  But you’re going, despite all of that.  Because you want That Thing bad enough to voluntarily suffer for it.

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More on Austerities

Jennifer comments, 
I think I need to figure out what happens when I don’t have a burning desire for something that I will absolutely go through hell and high water and a whole lotta sacrifice for….but the idea will never quite 100% go away either, even if it is mostly dead. I know I don’t want such-and-such so much that I’ll do ANYTHING, FOREVER, INDEFINITELY to get it–then again, I learned at an early age that such things weren’t under my control and if you go for years and years wanting something you can’t have and cannot ever figure out how to get, the burning desire will eventually die. I don’t know if it’s a case of “I just never want anything all that much, how do I know if it’s going to be so fucking great after years of struggle,” or “I learned that I’ll lose so what’s the point,” but I dunno, just because I don’t have the hellburning passion to see me through years of struggle to the goal doesn’t mean I’ve managed to 100% give up either.DSC_1677
Ugh. Undecidedness/ambivalence/meh helps nothing.

So, okay.  Let's say you're not a Margaret Beauforte House on Fire.  (I feel like Beth and I are in some kind of secret cult where if we say her name enough, we'll invoke her powers, btdubs.  Here's to hoping!)  Let's say you're a normal person who wants normal things who happens to practice magic.

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Austerities

Austerities are for the obsessed, the unhinged and the desperate.  But it sure does get someone's attention, doesn't it?  It's sort of like stalking the universe* until She's forced to notice you.  That kind of passion, that kind of desire starts fires that burn everything down to the ground.

Well.  At least we can see the moon.

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Cooking Dinner Does Not Make You a Kitchen Witch (Subtitled: Making Friends Everywhere I Go)

I sort of spent my twenties fighting against who I really was in oh so many ways. I didn’t want to be a kitchen Witch. I thought that was the least impressive, most Holly Hobby branch of magic there is.

Jow and I were talking about why I fought this yesterday, he said it doesn’t make me lesser. But I said, it does. I’ve just grown not to care and to honor who I am. It makes me LESS formally educated, LESS full of hermetic/goetic/golden dawn occulty goodness, LESS theory based magic, LESS plugged in to having 24/7 chitchats with my gods, LESS inclined to have some kind of formal magic fancy dance, etc., etc.

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New Year, New You: An Experiment in Magical Radical Transformation

My muse and I have an on-going disagreement of sorts.  Well.  I do.  She is indifferent as usual to my thoughts and feelings.  She clomps into my bedroom, Manolos in hand, Aviation martinis from the Lambs Club and a burrito from Taco Morelos on her breath.

 
She (kicks the bed):  Hey.  Get up.
 
 
Me: What?  It’s bedtime and we’re not talking friends –
 
 
She: Whatever.  I have an idea.
 
 
Me: Your ideas are disorderly and often inconvenient.  I’m going back to bed.
 
 
She: No, you’re not.  I’m going to keep poking you in your brain pan until you listen.  Are you listening now?  Are you listening now?  Are you listening now?  Are you listening now?  Are you listening now?  Are you listening –
 
 
Me: JESUS CHRIST, I HATE YOU!
 
 
She: So it goes like this:
 
 
So, you’re supposed to be, like, magicians, occultists, witches in the woods and the kitchen and on the soccer field, right?  Workers of wonder.  Dream weavers.  People who get shit done.  Isn’t this the year to make your own luck?  You’re feeling especially awful with the nights that never end and run over by the holidaze. You can’t drink endless amounts joie forever before needing a meeting.  So now’s the f*cking time.  
 
Don’t wait until that stupid glitter ball drops and you’re already making drunk and/or sentimental mistakes, start now.  Start now when it’s hardest.  Start now when you feel so weighed down with emotions better left to glittery and not so glittery vampires and when you feel like you could sleep forever.  Now is the time you need to wake up.  Get up, get up!  Don’t miss this moment.  
 
Create magics great and small, mundane and mystical.  Find everything you’ve been looking for, mysteries revealed in every form of divination and song and when you f*ck it up, when you are too tired to try, bring each other up from bloodied knees to get back up smiling.  You are all made of the cosmos and you have stardust in your veins.  Do something about it.
 
 
Here is what you’ll do, Tiny Charge of Mine.  You’ll write prompts.  You’ll explore.  You’ll fall down.  Sometimes you’ll lay there awhile, finding things under rocks that you never wanted to know.  They’ll pull you back, using yarn, glue, cajoling and stern words.  You’ll keep sewing yourself into who you’ll want to be and you’ll tell them, sometimes too much, because that’s your way and what’s needed.  You’ll find how far you can really fly when you’ve made wings to carry you and be breathless from your accomplishments.  
 
 
Here is what they’ll do.  Form a community of tealight hearths and skyscraper high bonfires.  They’ll whisper their stories, spirials of success and failure.  You’ll learn from each other, make each other laugh, piss each other off.  You’ll get things done together and alone.  You’ll be afraid together, so knees up.    
 
Ready?  Let's go.
 
The entirety of my free New Year, New You: An Experiment in Magical Radical Self Transformation course can be found here, with a prompt for every week for 23 weeks.  I suggest doing them in order, starting at week 1 ("Making Way").  You can do the course in a self-guided manner, either privately journaling your process or publicly, whichever you prefer.  If you want me to see that you're doing it, link each prompt on your blog and I will get the pingback about your entry and I can find it and read about it.  
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Song for a Cold Winter’s Night in the Belly of the Beast

I know.  It’s after Solstice.  The sun is returning blahblahblah.  That is only in theory in New Jersey at this point until April.  We still have many grey days with little sunlight to speak of to get through first.

A few weeks ago, April1 and I went to our favorite Korean Spa.  It’s near Mitsuwa which is an amazing Japanese market with ramen, taiyaki  and katsu stands that serve food on real plates like civilized people and the seating overlooks the NYC skyline.  We go to the spa, then go to Mitsuwa, eat too much and then wander the aisles to look for delicious treats to bring home.

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I've never been a Witch in the woods.  The thing is, to be a proper Witch in the woods, villagers have to know where you live (no) or you need to do a lot of festivals which involves camping (no).

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  • Peggy Frye
    Peggy Frye says #
    Thank you - wonderful article.

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