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.
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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Reframing Your Spiritual Practice

Whenever Jow and I have a moment of time, we like to pretend that we will always have the luxury of time and immediately set about reorganizing our lives, both together and as individuals.  Sometimes it sticks (like we've been cooking more together), sometimes less so (See: Mount St. Laundry in the bedroom).  Inevitably, the conversation will cycle around to how we suck at having a spiritual practice.  We sometimes slap together a pooja to do together, we make offerings of water, light and incense to our goddesses, spirits and ancestors, I make offerings to my Ladies, he meditates sometimes, we do half asleep japa, once in a while we will "whale spout" (a mediation from an old book, I forget the actual name) but it's all v. ad hoc which is v. unsatisfying to Jow.  He wants to treat this like it's the first time he's ever gone on a diet.  Hardcore!  Constant effort!  No excuses!  Other fitspiration here!

Me: That's not going to work.

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Fix Your Situation: A Magical Date Night for the Exhausted

The longer you are in a relationship with a person(s), the harder it is to spend quality time together.  There are a lot of factors to why this is: you are currently getting on each other's damn nerves, you have been in a Netflix/Pokemon coma for several months, lots overtime at work/child-related commitments, you can't seem to manage keeping your house in a state that is not A Pit of Despair, Summertime Sadness and other Adulting afflictions.

Somewhere, in the back of your head, you figure well, there's always next week, we'll try then. Except next week keeps coming and dates keep not happening.  On one hand, this is a soothing part of a long term relationship: you are 90% sure Partner(s) are not going anywhere so you have that reassurance that eventually, you can work this out and get the romance rekindled.  On the other hand, this is how entropy happens, Charmers.  The more time you spend not actively engaging with each other, the more it's a habit, the more it's a habit the less there's romance and the less kindly inclined you will be towards each other.  Think about it: if you have a recent super fun memory of Partner(s), are you going to be more inclined or less inclined to not start World War III over something trivial?  If you don't have a recent super fun memory of Partner(s), are you going to be more inclined or less inclined to start World War III?  Right.

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Um Is Not an Answer!

Whenever a witness on my beloved Judge Judy starts hemming and hawing about a question they don't want to answer, she always barks, Um is not an answer!  But sometimes?  It kind of is.

I always assume that everyone who reads me is a psycho in the same way.  You know what you want, you know how to get it, you just need a kick in the ass to get it.  But then I look at people I actually know and I realize that not everyone knows what they want in the micro or macro.  For example, I thought I'd be writing books about hearth witchery.  It turns out though that writing recipe based pieces (such as my Llewellyn annuals work) is incredibly tedious for me.  I don't mind it for the annuals, but a whole book?  I'd run away to New Orleans with no forwarding address a lot faster than I would be likely to actually finish it.  I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was eight, but what I actually write about depends on who's paying, like most artists.  I've written smut, I've written about camping (despite loathing it) and camping equipment, I've written about miniature goat farming.  I prefer the smut and the witchy over content writing, but I would do content work again if I had to and I would love to write Young Adult.  But I spent several years working to pave my way into hearth witchery, to the point that it was the first proposal my editor had from me.  She wanted it to be witchier and I said, I can do that but can I pitch a few other things first?  We can come back if you don't like any of it.  She picked up glamour and here we are.  I love hearth based witchcraft, but I'm passionate about glamour. 

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