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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What's a Witch?

An old friend of mine recently asked that question.  It's a deceptively tricky question, the longer one thinks about it, especially in the Copy Room of Revelations.  It gets sticky of course, because everything does.  The spiritual part gets dicey, because you could totally be a Witch and still identify as a Major Religion and go to a Major Religion Service regularly and still practice some version of Witchcraft.  Hoodoo (Southern North-American folk magic) is literally built on this.  There are no Hoodoo gods.  You talk to the gods you came with, who are probably some kind of Christian.  You might talk to saints and spirits.  But Hoodoo does not have [Goddess Name], the goddess of [Action X].   It is an add on to your American-Christian Starter Pack, though people who don't identify as American-Christian use it too as we are all more shameless versions of The Borrowers in matters of the Craft. 

Conversely, you can identify as a Witch and choose to worship only the (Wiccan) God & Goddess pair, the (Dianic WIccan) Goddess and/or a mish mosh pantheon of polytheistic goddesses from various places in the world, some of whom mostly went to sleep for a while (Greek pantheon, Roman patheon, Celtic pantheon, etc) and some of whom never went to sleep (the Hindu pantheon, some fae in Nordic/Celtic countries, the Buddhist pantheon). 

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Glamour for the Completely Exhausted

All your dreams have died.  Welcome to 2017.  The last party leftover has long been eaten, you're back to drinking too much wine and watching too much television.  You have not set foot in the gym, the sky is grey, there is no end in sight and it will never be spring again.

I can't speak for you, but so far 2017 has been one punch in the box after another.  I have a work project that's a complete clusterfuck that I'm fruitlessly trying to spin into gold and failing and in return the project is giving me: no down time whatsoever, an added ten pounds, repetitive stress injuries, flaky scalp and all the zits I want.  Not to mention endless exhaustion, frustration and feeling like I am trying to run underwater along with the knowledge that tax season is just about to start so my life is not mine for the next three months anyway.  In the background: a thing I'm trying to get together for my book that I can't talk about but goes around and around and likely will end in futility, communication issues at home which, if you haven't had the pleasure of being with someone for nearly ten years, I can tell you at this stage, one of you is always Lucy with the goddamn football (the antagonist!) and the other is always Charlie Brown (the injured party!).  I am not at my best at present.  2017 is gaining traction on me and it's hard to put on my best dress and repeatedly outrun it.  Still, I try.

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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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