Practical Magic: Glamoury and Tealight Hearths

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

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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.

On Down at the Crossroads with Chris Orapello and Tara Maguire, I talked about abortion and why I’m pro-choice.  I talked about my work I’ve done as clinic defender.  Even as I spoke about it, I felt a tingle of fear run down my spine.  But I felt it was important in my background and I didn’t want to hide.  I vaguely worried about death threats that would manifest, but I have had many years in liberal New Jersey and we had a Black president.  I felt safe (enough).  I let it stand.

This morning hurt so badly for me that I’ve been very selective about who I will speak with because I’m in an emotional place.  My rights that I was so sure about only yesterday, I am no longer so sure about.  I don’t know how long I’ll have access to abortion, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to marry a same sex partner in the future, I don’t know if it’s safe to be out as a Witch anymore and to wear my markings outwardly.

I don’t know.

I think of my Other Mother who has helped shape me into the woman from my twenties until now I am who was sick with grief and up all night last night.  I don’t know what to say to her.  I think about how lazy and complacent I’ve become as an activist.  As a feminist.  I only dialed in the bare minimum for the last ten years and she has worked tirelessly for the last 40+ years of her life.  Also working, always striving.  This was her chance to see a female feminist president in her lifetime, this was the culmination of all her work.  Supreme court justices who would see out the rest of her life most likely, maybe mine too would be selected to keep everyone’s rights.  Don’t agree with abortion?  Don’t want to marry a same sex partner?  No one is making you.  It’s cool.  Relax.  We can all do what we want and we can all have the lives we want to live and create communities that reflect that.

That future was murdered last night.  It’s gone, done.  Dandelion fluff.

I don’t know what I will say to her tonight.

My friends and I whisper to each other over text, a modern version of that uncertain day not that long ago where the sky fell across the river from where we lived.  We ask the same things we asked then.  If we’re okay, what we will do, if all your loved ones are safe.  We donate money, we try to figure out what to do.

Last night, my cousin JJ, a poly sci graduate and new to the work force wrote this:

Regardless of what happens tomorrow, please remember that federal elections, while influential, are far less important than activism. The election of Woodrow Wilson did not give women the right to vote; activism did. President Wilson was actually against the initiative originally. The election of Barack Obama did not directly allow for the legalization of marijuana and gay marriage (pre-Supreme Court case) in numerous states countrywide. It was activism that pushed these decisions into referendums, and it was activism that swayed the vote in favor of the outcomes. So if your preferred candidate loses tomorrow, do not despair. Go out in your community and fight firsthand for what you believe in. That is how real change happens.

My much younger friend has this as her first election experience.  She just saw her right to marry whomever she likes be put into federal law and almost just as quickly be taken away.  She didn’t sleep either last night.  She can’t figure out how to parse this, that a world that she’s only been told about will likely become her reality.  She may not get to marry the Disney Princess of her dreams now.  No one knows.

I told her,

But listen to me. We have to choose love. We have to choose action. We have to hold each other up. We have to choose rightness. We have to chose service. We have to chose dedication. We have to choose art. We have to choose beauty. We have to choose love. This is the only way we win.  We.  Must.  Choose.  Love.

I don’t mean love in an abstract touchy feely bullshit white activist sort of way.  I mean donating to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the UNCF, the Sanar Institute and the causes you feel strongest about.  I mean channeling that anger, that fear into action.  I mean putting your body on the line the way your heart is by defending causes and places you believe in.  I mean creating movements.  I mean creating space.  I mean creating art as an expression of hope.  I mean creating beauty because it’s dark as a closet in here right now.  I mean working Witchcraft as a way to take your power back.  I mean holding onto each other as tight as we can because we don’t know what will happen.  I mean acts of defiance.  I mean glamour bombing.  I mean poetic terrorism.   I mean love is scary so strap in and strap it on.  I mean that rights are won in the streets and in our beds and in the way that we express who we are and it’s not pretty.  It’s brutal, it’s dangerous, it’s sharp, just like love.

If you are struggling with the outcome on a spiritual level remember:

  1. The Greek Pantheon Goddesses were never always right and always just.
  2. The Hindu Goddesses are equally interested in pain and suffering as well as happiness and prosperity.
  3. The Moirai are looking at a board that is so vast and wide that we have no way to see what they are seeing.  They don’t judge a situation for the hardship it brings, only the result.

What You Can Do Right Now:

  1. Donate.
  2. Volunteer.
  3. Get active.
  4. Make art.
  5. Make love.
  6. Use your glamour as a way to fight your oppressors great and small and make as many changes as you can to the world.
  7. Witchcraft (remember?)

How to Use Glamour as a Weapon:

Glamour is subtle.  It’s irreverent reverence.  It’s a way to change the standard operating procedures without being detected until it’s time for revolution.  It’s a million tiny acts of defiance that you are able to get away with through the sheer force of your charm.  Wear heels to work as a sacrifice to your dark goddesses to insure safe abortions for your sisters.  Leave out milk, honey and bread for your local land spirits, your redcaps, your sluagh, your kelpies, your selkies and remind them that we are the ones who remember.  Blood offerings at your crossroads for justice for your trans sisters and brothers.  Start fundraising for causes your work place would loath while on the clock.  Glamour bomb your local witch/lbgtq/kink friendly shops and centers with chalk, glitter, flowers, candles and tiny cakes in the middle of the night.

Dry your tears.  It’s time to get to Work in all things sacred and profound.  The revolution starts now and you want to be on the right side of history.

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Deborah Castellano's book, Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want (Llewellyn, 2017) is available: 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. 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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