Practical Magic: Glamoury and Tealight Hearths

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Glamour Practical: Burn This Place Down

Gather ’round, Charmers.  First, as always, my litany of complaints: it is Heartbreak Hotel in my little corner of the woods which is every bit as depressing as you would expect it to be.  Not for me personally, my heart is currently as more-or-less intact as it’s going to be.  But for four people in my circle of friends, it is less so.  I try to be supportive, I try to be helpful, but no one wants to hear any of that noise whilst heartbroken.  Needless to say, it wears me down.  Working 40 hours a week in an accounting firm where there is no such thing as a small mistake because: accounting also wears me down.  Shopping for Yule gifts, keeping my head above water for the holidaze season as a crafter for my Etsy shop and at shows is exhausting, research and slowly, oh so so so slowly writing my book is anxiety inducing as well as also (surprise!) exhausting.

It’s hard to feel glamorous right now, Charmers.  Not in that (now nostalgic) new Mom-like way that nannying produced for me as a career path with endless amounts of physical labor, vomit, tears and poop,  but in that I am too tired to think let alone look polished and perfect as well as formulating wit and charm.  My brain is tired but my body is wired, the exact opposite of my not too long ago previous life.

Every time I get a text from someone who is not one of perhaps three people currently, all I can think are Amy Winehouse’s lyrics from her song, “Addicted”:

Tell your boyfriend next time he around
To buy his own weed and don’t wear my sh*t down                            

I wouldn’t care if brave would give me some more                            

I’d rather him leave you than leave him my draw

When you smoke all my weed man
You gots to call the green man
So I can get mine
And you get yours

None of this is news to any of you who have been with me for several years.  You know I can’t sleep too close to the solstices.  You know this time of year makes me all existential angst-cakes.  You know I feel like a hamster on a wheel.

Tuck it away in your bra, in your pocket: Just because you got your most fervent wish doesn’t magically make you a completely different person.  At least . . .not yet.

Enough about me, let’s talk about you.

Sometimes you’re really on and your heart and your head and your hands are aflame.  You see the signs and omens in the moon and in the language of the birds and every song you hear whispers to you.  Your will is steady, the oceans inside of you are calm. You are picking up every stitch, you know how every breath of yours, every word of yours, every egg you crack, every candle you light, every incantation you murmur will change everything and everyone around you in such tiny movements you can barely see it.  You know it’s happening.  You know it in the flutter of the pulse that you are going to burn down everything that has ever stopped you from being exactly who you want to be and getting exactly everything you ever Wanted.  You know how to twist your body into just the right angle, how to smile in just the right way, how to say just the right thing so that you gently bend everyone around you to your will.  The world is in love with you and you are in love with the world.

And then you crash.

You are nothing special, nothing great to look at.  None of your magic works, god how freaking stupid can you be to think that it could?  Thinking that anything you would ever try to accomplish would ever happen.  Your goddesses and spirits aren’t interested in your dumb dreams and neither is anyone else.  You have no glamour to your name and your credit ain’t good enough to borrow a cup. You will never accomplish anything, you will never be worth anything to anyone, there are no portents, there are no goddesses, there isn’t anything but unending drudgery, heart ache, hardship and loss.

So you lie down.

You give up on yourself, you give up on everyone you love. You wrap yourself in a blanket of distraction and you forget about how to dream.  You forget how to Want anything.  You forget everything that makes you magical, everything that makes you glamorous.  You forget how to have a meaningful conversation, you forget about how you feel when your shoes are polished just so and when your lips are as red as the red, red rose.  You forget that moment when your breath catches when you twirled in the moonlight, when your heart skipped a beat when someone kissed you for the first time, the feeling you get when you read a book that breaks your heart into a million pieces, how your heart sang when you eat a bite of the most perfect thing, when you laughed so hard you cried and wished for that moment never to end, when something beautiful made you sob from the beauty of it.

Get.  The. Hell.  Up.  Right.  Now.  Right.  Now.

You only lose The Game when you stop playing.  You don’t need to stop being sad.  You don’t need to pretend to not be scarred, broken, tired, depressed, anxious, grieving.  You don’t need to be something you’re not.  But you need to Play.  Playing is how magic is made, it’s how glamour is manifested.  If you want to burn the place down, if you want to be rooted firmly in your magic, if you want to be securely seated in your glamour, if you want get what you Want, you have to be willing to Play the game.  Allowing yourself to be a complacent, distraction-addled, dreamless, hopeless zombie is the opposite of Playing.

You need to be the protagonist in your own Play.  Figure out how to inject beauty in your daily life.  Glamourbomb.  Receive kindness.  Give grace.  Make magic.  Make love.  Make art.  Be present with beauty when She presents herself.  Be present with your heartbreak, be present with your grief, be present with your pain.  Be present with joy.  Be present with love.  Take a risk.  Just say yes.  Play to win and not to be nice.   Find your motivation.  Dance.  Cry.  Be afraid and then do it anyway.  Have too much of something.  Don’t have anything.  Do something, anything.  Burn this place down to the ground!

Now you can see the moon.

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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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