Category Archives: Personal Life

What being a witch is for me.

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I’ve been a witch for most of my life. I have not always discussed being a witch and usually did not tell this detail to people I met. Often I did not tell them even after them knowing me for many years (like all of my sorority sisters for instance had no idea). When I got married my husband did not know that I was a witch and had practiced, trained and dedicated part of my life to this since I was fifteen years old. He was non-religious himself (though raised as an Episcopal Christian) and we got married at the courthouse in Key West, so religion didn’t come into it.

In the course of our marriage and living our life together it became clear to him that I had quite an interest in several unusual things: crystals, herbs and candles. And altars. They were around our house for a number of different reasons all decorated with symbols, statuary, herbs and lit candles at different times and moon phases/sabbats. He remarked that he liked the spirituality of the altars but he never thought anything of it since we also had a lovely Christian altar with the Lady of Guadalupe and a number of antique medieval crosses.

Coming out as a witch to my husband and friends was not easy. I did it in steps and even today there are still some people in certain areas of my life who do not know and some who do know but have no understanding of what being a witch means to me.

My husband reacted as I thought he would – complete understanding and he thought it was very cool.  He even understood that I was Buddhist religiously though I still practiced witchcraft but not as a Wiccan. The truth is witchcraft fit perfecting into my practice of Buddhism and meditation. They compliment each other well.

My friends who knew me for years had no issues with it since they had suspected something was different about me. Accepting me as Buddhist helped them accept me as a witch who not only cast spells for herself and her loved ones but as a business and for my living.

It’s the people who turned their back on me however that were most alarming to me. How could someone accept me as a Buddhist but not accept me as a witch? The answer to that was unfortunately ignorance of what witchcraft is and being confused by Hollywood witchcraft (like Harry Potter) and the pervasive connection of witchcraft with Satanists (and there is no actual truth of any kind to that connection since Satanism is a perversion of Christianity not an earth-based pagan religion).

Witchcraft for me has nothing to do with superstitions, ghosts, evil or Hollywood witches. For me witchcraft is and always has been about connecting with NATURE and the Goddess (who in herself is NATURE).

So you can take all the things that you think witchcraft and magick are and safely store those away under hoo-ha in my opinion. The media does not represent witchcraft. The online world does not represent it (at least not the places where real witches gather to discuss things). Even groups that get together and practice or organized covens do not necessarily represent me as a witch (though I applaud their right to whatever kind of witchcraft they practice).

I don’t wear pentacles usually. I don’t wear goth makeup and clothes. I don’t act like Wednesday Addams or any gothified teenager or emo poster on Tumblr. I am a mature, educated woman who believes in the power of focused will and intention to instigate change. I believe in the power of nature. I believe in the connection of all things. I believe in the light of the Goddess and her consort the God, that we humans are created by both a mother and a father figure.

I love being a witch. I love casting spells. I love every aspect of it from growing herbs, drying them, making magickal herb mixes and gris-gris bags and mojos to scented oils to my own candles. I love writing spells in my Book of Shadows.  I love studying various mysteries. I love documenting my life and spiritual journey as a witch. I love meditating and practicing compassion. I love grounding and centering myself. I love casting a circle whether in my mind or ritually. I love crystals and semi-precious stones for healing and positive energy. I love dedicating my work to the Goddess and sitting in front of a bonfire casting spells in the moonlight as much as I love celebrating the sabbats like upcoming Samhain and all the ritual that goes into it.

Being a witch has always been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I was drawn to nature in a spiritual sense. I told my cousin once that I thought God was a glow of light (I was very young) and that I believed God could be found in a cathedral of trees.

The only difference is now, I KNOW SHE is.

Robin Williams

Bobcat Goldthwait, Robin Williams

 

O Captain! My Captain!

BY WALT WHITMAN

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! dear father!
                            This arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.

Best of 2013

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2013 was not the best year for me by many accounts. I struggled for half the year with health issues, romantically overwrought situations and a roller-coaster of an economy. It’s no lie that I am more than happy to bid farewell to 2013, sad that such a great year (the 13th of 2000) produced a string of calamities.

All was not lost this year however and Id like to share some positive and happy things from the past 12 months:

1. OBAMACARE – it may have its detractors but not for this witch. This is the first time that I have health insurance in 14 years. When I was able to sign-up and pay my first months premium it was one of the best days ever. Hopefully with my health insurance I can now look into all of the things I had put off because the cost of healthcare was so monstrous. Thank Goddess for the Affordable Care Act.

2. MY MOTHER – always a remarkable woman and friend, she really rose to the occasion as a caregiver when I needed her most. She changed everything in her life to care for me at the age of 69 and she took over all household duties as I have convalesced. She really rallied and has not only kept my spirits up and kept me laughing, shes also made some pretty yummy salads and helped me stick to my low-carb and sugar-free eating plan. Yay Mom!

3. MY BROTHER – he really helped around the house when I was first in the hospital and that got things going for us in very positive organizational ways. He also helped when things were at their most dire and showed a great deal of care and concern. My sister-in-law helped out too when we got in a fender-bender in a doctors parking lot and it was much appreciated.

4. MY WONDERFUL FRIENDS – they kept me laughing and feeling good through some dark times this year.Thank Goddess for Vanessa, Suzanne & Kelly, Ditas, Christine, Eddie Foo, Coral, Jon, Angela & Terry B. I am so lucky to have many clients who became friends and now are like family to me.

5. BIG BANG THEORY & MODERN FAMILY – being able to watch the entire catalogs of these two TV shows kept me amused and happy. I thank the Goddess for the brilliant writers out there who made me care about geeks and disparate dysfunctional family members with equal fervor.

6. JANE AUSTEN –  in the hospital and afterwards I watched every version of Pride & Prejudice there was (several times) and re-read the book on my kindle. It helped me to see such a beautiful time and place and know that love still wins the day.

7. MY KITTY – she is my faithful kuddle kitty. She is beside me as I write this. (and Timmon is here in spirit too.)

8. DON CHEPE’S – the best Latin American food I have ever had. We get it all the time and though it is somewhat carb heavy (and I have to be careful) it is beyond the beyond. The arepas are my favorite and the El Salvadoran tamales. Oh and everything else. Dear Lord.

9. COOKBOOKS – even though my eating plan has changed  I still love to read cookbooks (and as soon as I am able to get back to the kitchen I plan on cooking up a storm) and they keep me very entertained. I have read and re-read CANAL HOUSE COOKS EVERYDAY and just got their newest Italian cookbook called PRONTO. I have hundreds of cookbooks in my library but I constantly re-read my favorites. Check out my list at Good Reads.

10. PINTEREST – I have 24 boards and almost 12,000 pins. Because I cannot stop pinning things. My favorite boards are the food ones (I now have a diabetic food board) and the witchy ones of course. Join me there and keep up with the madness. I love to follow my friends and clients.

11. SMASH BOOKS – I took a wee break from smash-booking but I am ready to get back in the groove again. This is the journalling form of scrapbooking and a perfect way to creatively log your memories and everyday thoughts. They go nicely with all my books of shadows.

12. SUGAR-FREE OREO’S – all sugar-free cookies (and candy and other desserts too) rock my world but to be able to enjoy oreo’s without affecting my blood-sugar is almost holy to me. Since I am limited to keeping a sugar-free lifestyle any triumph like oreo’s and really good sugar-free candy makes it worthwhile.

13. DREAMFIELD’S PASTA – this is true low-card pasta at only 190 calories and 5 carbs per serving. It tastes just like regular white flour pasta but about 35 fewer carbs per serving. So all my Italian faves are back on the menu! Woo-hoo!

 

My Best Christmas Present

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I’ve been pinning a lot to my Christmas/Yule board on Pinterest trying to get myself in the spirit. I know it is still a little early (another week and then some until Thanksgiving) but after everything I’ve been through this past summer and fall I am ready for the magick to embrace me.

Christmas was when I really believed in magick. That’s when I knew that all magick was real because you could not fit all of it into one day, you had to extend it for the entire season. And truthfully it never seemed long enough (at least not when I was a child – ok, I’m still a little bit of a child when it comes to Christmas).

I was lucky because my mother started right after Thanksgiving throughout my childhood as she always believed that the build up to Christmas was better than the aftermath. As far as she was concerned take Christmas down once it was over, though she let it stay up until New Year’s Day for my brother and me.

How I loved the anticipation! The Christmas music, decorations, first snow of the season, how everyone seemed to feel more good-natured, Christmas pageants at school, knowing I would see all my relatives for the holidays and all the wonderful, delicious, incredible food! Wait, I’m thinking with my adult mind – obviously as a child all I cared about was PRESENTS!

The best Christmas gift I ever got was my dollhouse, a real wooden dollhouse that my father built for me. He built two additions for it too and my mother hand-sewed all the wee little curtains, linens and bedding for the beds. It was a most spectacular dollhouse (which I still have in storage), with  two children’s rooms, a nursery and an attic playroom. It was a Colonial era dollhouse, like the house I grew up in during my childhood in Connecticut.

I never tired of that dollhouse. My mother even helped me decorate it for Christmas and we hand-wrapped tiny little gifts and she even decorated a dollhouse size Christmas tree with pearl garland and gold beads. I loved to replicate events in the dollhouse according to the season. My little doll family would have a huge Christmas dinner all painstakingly arranged by my little hands an the fancy dining room.

To this day I am a miniature enthusiast, though I mostly collect  1/6th scale minis from Japan. That part of my childhood wonder is with me still.

How lucky I was to have parents who worked so hard to make my dream come true that Christmas and all the holidays of my childhood?

That’s why I look for the magick now, because the magick was made real for me then.

Mother Christmas

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I am already starting to feel Christmas encroaching. It began before Samhain was even here and now the shopping channels (who literally started their madness in JULY) are hawking their wares and reminding me it’s only blahbiddy blah many days until Christmas.

I’m not in the best shape ever. Well, actually that’s not completely true. Since the summer I’ve trimmed down (a jolly hospital stay will do that to you) and I am in fighting form. My diabetes is under control. My infection is long past. My wounds have healed and although I am not mobile (without my knee scooter) and the future for my foot reconstruction is uncertain without Obamacare, I’m in general. feeling pretty darn good.

It’s just that lately I have been the force behind our holidays. It begins with Samhain and I go full-tilt until New Year’s Eve. I decorate, plan menus, shop, cook, do more shopping, wrap, more decorating, more cooking, yet again more shopping. How can I possibly sit this one out?

I’m already feeling estranged from Christmas to a point that I started pinning on my Christmas board on pinterest to help me keep the spirit. Then I proceeded to get stressed. How do people do all these crafts, bake all these cookies, buy all these gifts, keep a perfectly spotless house while having guests and decorate like  they have Christmas elves come in the night and transform their home? Even when I had mobility I could never keep that kind of pace. And now? Call the budget caterer (known as Publix).

I do love Christmas (doesn’t everyone) and was lucky to have grown up with the QUEEN OF ALL THINGS CHRISTMAS – aka my mother. She was like all these uber-Christmas pinners that I am so jealous of. She set standards that I frankly gave up on ever coming close to many years ago.

I used to actually commission her to decorate my Christmas tree. For years I did this. Sandy (my husband) would come home after work and the tree would be done, marvelouslyand beautifully and he would be in aw. My mother would be there smiling and he’d look at us both and simply say, Thank you Terry for decorating our tree. There was no way to hide it. Her perfection with the bead garland alone was a dead giveaway. Sandy once said there was never a Gen-Xer alive who could use bead garland properly on a Christmas tree.

In the last few years Mom helped with the decorating (supervised) and I carried out her instructions. This year it will be her milieu once again.

Now that I am actually looking forward to, because the truth is, aside from cooking (all of which I learned from her), the decorating, wrapping etc is not my forte. Once you’ve had the perfect Christmas tree, house, cookies, presents, centerpieces, mantles, wreaths and candles in every window its simply best to let the one who makes Christmas a true holiday, do her thing.

I’ll be wheeling around following instructions. And I will never touch the bead garland.

 

The witch is back

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Well my dears it has been a tough time for yours truly during the past 7 weeks. I was in the hospital for nearly three weeks at the end of July and first part of August, got some troubling news about my diabetes (complications arose with my right foot which is severely dislocated) oh and almost died from septic shock. So yeah, not the most sterling time in my life.

The good news is: I am healthy again!

My foot and ankle unfortunately are not as easily fixed as the rest of me and I will have to have reconstructive surgery as soon as possible. For now I use my knee scooter to get around as I can put no weight on my right foot. It will be like this for a while, before and after reconstructive surgery. So it will be another few months ahead that I have to deal with this.

Thank you all for your kind concern and caring messages of support during this time. You all cheered me up so much with your cards and flowers and Facebook messages. I also thank you for purchasing spells and readings (so many readings – thank you!) last month to help me out since you know I do not have medical insurance.

I am back to witching full-time again, so please celebrate the autumn equinox with me by checking out my BIRTHDAY SALE. My birthday is September 29th (I will be 45 years old). For Mabon this year we are going out (since I’m still not cooking) and then will have a little fire in the fire-pit and toss some herbs in for luck and abundance.

I will surely update again around that time so check out my offerings at mysticspells.com and enjoy the cooler weather of this fine September.

Healing Witch

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I just spent the past 17 days in the hospital recovering from a blood infection. It came upon me suddenly (I am a type II diabetic) through a foot injury that turned septic. I was taken to the ER and admitted, given massive amounts of IV antibiotics and still, now that I am out – have to go every day for continued treatments for the next three weeks.

Never in my life have I been as sick. I’ve had minor things like most people but I have never been hospitalized before. I never felt my life energy withdraw from me. I never felt so small and fragile and hopelessly lost.

But then I came home. I was back to my witchy world. I was surrounded by the power that I had thought ceased in me, yet never had, not even for a moment. It was quiet, working behind the scenes, supporting me even when I could barely recall my Goddess mantra. It was there, a blue silver light of healing that flowed through my body, though I was too ill to see it, blinded by the breakdown in my physical self.

The first day home was not easy but then my head began to clear. My herbs called to me. My oils and potions and sacred objects. I had my tarot deck in my hands, my Goddess candle lit on  the altar, my Buddhist altar illuminated.

I had carried the healing strength within me and did not even know it.

I continue to heal.

In the name of the Goddess all Magick is blessed.

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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I love all the Celtic symbols in this gorgeous bracelet. It’s wonderful to be a little bit Irish today, as in my heritage I am mostly French, Italian, German and English (with a wee bit of Scottish in the family lineage of Munro). I look every bit an English girl I have been told and definitely take after my grandmothers side of the family (the came on the first boat from England forbears). Since I have always been attracted to my Celtic bloodline I enjoy celebrating the day even if it by way of England and Scotland and not Ireland.

Had a great time with Mom, a beautiful day and then we got Southern BBQ for supper at Sonny’s and took it home. Usually I make Corned Beef & Cabbage but had a busy weekend so I’ve postponed it until later in the week.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and keep luck on your side for the rest of the year.

Remember all month my Lucky 13 Spell is HALF-PRICE – only $250 and I am taking payment plans for it too.

Christmas Memories

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I’m listening to White Christmas even though it’s never a white Christmas here in Central Florida. The truth is I haven’t had a white Christmas in so long I cannot truly recall what it was like! I don’t miss being cold, though in the brief winter here it can go down to freezing.

I miss the holidays of my youth but doesn’t everyone? We had such wonderful Christmases then with all the family together, visiting house to house, my Auntie Marcia making the most wonderful food, my Aunt Diane having the most beautiful decorated house, my Nanesto making the most lovely holidays especially considering that we always brought my father with us and he could destroy any holiday with a withering look. But she stood up to him – she was awesome!

Daddy wasn’t always a misery though, he’d lighten up once we got to Auntie Marcia’s and Uncle Richard’s, things were fun and festive with the Italians (which my father is) rather than the more buttoned up Yankee traditions of my mother’s people (she is half French and that’s on her father’s side, but the French has always been downplayed though my mother is tres tres French in her demeanor!).

Christmas with my cousins was always a great time. We got along famously, my cousins Tammy & Rick were very close to my brother Raymond and me throughout our entire childhoods and teen years. We lost touch once we were all adults and I am sad about that. I miss all my family tremendously, especially my Nanesto who has been gone a while now.

Nanesto (so called because Ernest Hemingway was her favorite author and his nickname was Ernesto, so I called her that combining “Nana” with his nickname) died in December and then five years ago this Christmas I lost my husband Sandy. The holidays are not quite what they were then.

It’s not just the physical loss of loved ones (though that plays into it) but I don’t see my father anymore (even though he has a winter home here in Florida) and have not in going on four years. My brother Raymond and his wife are estranged from Mom and me. Aunt Diane lives far away in Rhode Island and so does my father’s side of the family and we have not gotten together in many years. My mother remains close with my Aunts, speaking to them every few days and I am glad they maintain their connection.

I have found in the last five years since Sandy passed away that my closest friends are all over the world, many of them clients, sister and brother witches in my community of pagans, Buddhist brothers and sisters that I have known for over a dozen years and even new friends like my dear girlfriend Vanessa. I am so grateful to have a new family and new memories that we are building and sharing.

Still as I get older those memories of long ago seem more clear, and I find myself drifting longingly to the simpler joys of driving with my family to Rhode Island to be welcomed by both sides of my extended family in their unique and wonderful ways.

Those were my white Christmases.

Bully

Recently I learned that my best friend from childhood lost both her parents within several years of each other. I didn’t know that her mother had died a year ago nor had I learned until now that her father had also died a few years prior. I had not been in contact with my friend since I was last in my hometown over 20 years ago. I knew her parents well and she and I had been close since we were in nursery school, though our friendship had ceased somewhere in the fourth grade.

At first we exchanged several pleasant emails and shared our memories and sorrows. But then I asked her to friend me on Facebook and she did but soon sent a follow-up email telling me she was un-friending me because I was a witch and she said that kind of thing freaked her out.

I did not reply to her nor would I ever again. Narrow-minded people with closed hearts have no place in my life. I do not suffer fools and people with prejudices and ignorance.

I was hurt though because I contacted her to offer condolences and I don’t think that you should take such a stand with someone who comes to you to share kindness. Why did she need to say such a thing to me? What harm in the world would being my friend on Facebook mean? Would her other friends have said something (it was not my Morrigane account but my private real name account and I do not have any links to any witchcraft things though I make no secret of my practices, including Buddhism. Would she have un-friended me for that too?)

Many years ago I wondered why she had turned on me as a friend. She decided I was not cool enough and popular enough and then went on to be one of the popular girls in our school and was very cruel to me. I hoped after all these years that she had changed but instead I discovered that the wicked and mean little girl she had been is the compassionless woman she has become, so self-absorbed that she actually thought anyone would care that she was friends with a Buddhist Witch on Facebook.

She purports to be an artist, taking photos,almost all self-portraits in a fairy-esque fantasy themed collection of indulgent narcissistic images. She plans to sell these though I don’t know who would ever purchase photos of a middle-aged woman in such portraits. She is no real artist since artists do not tend to limit their hearts and minds and do so in such an unfeeling way.

I found myself wondering if after all these years that she somehow set me up thinking that she was this evolved person, so she could reel me in and then stab me delightfully by putting me down as she had done when we were children. I was not one of the popular kids and she decided that instead of being friends with me, she would be cruel to me and make fun of me every day at school. She was a bully then and sadly is a bully today.

I have learned a valuable lesson and I will continue to show compassion even to those who have not shown me the same. But I won’t engage them in dialogue and go on the assumption that once a creep, always a creep.